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Butterfly Farming Gardening Horticulture Lupines (Lupinus) Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Lupine as Butterfly Larval Host Plant

Many species of butterflies use various species of lupines (Lupinus) as host plants for their larvae. It’s important to note that butterfly-host relationships can be specific not only to the genus, but to the species level as well. Also, butterfly species’ distributions can affect which lupine species they interact with.

Skyblue of Sandhill Lupine (Lupinus diffusus).

Here are some butterfly species known to utilize Lupines as host plants:

1. Persius Duskywing (Erynnis persius)

2. Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

3. Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)

4. Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice)

5. Eastern Tailed-Blue (Cupido comyntas)

6. Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus)

7. Lupine Blue (Plebejus lupini)

8. Arrowhead Blue (Glaucopsyche piasus)

9. Mission Blue (Icaricia icarioides missionensis) – This is an endangered species.

This is not an exhaustive list and other butterfly species may also use lupines as larval host plants. And we havent even touched on Lupine as Moth Larval Host Plant. Still, with at least nine different butterfly species that might appear for Lupines, it makes sense to add them to your butterfly garden or monarch waystation. Make sure to find your local, native Lupines and install as many as you can. Because species diversity is our goal, and planting more Larval Host Plants is our path, for restoration of butterflies and all the species… one day at a time!

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