This page is your gateway to Host Plants, but stay tuned for Nectar Plants and Recommended Plants!

The Host Plant Table page lists many host plants and their butterfly and moth counterparts in a table format that allows you to quickly find a plant by common name, or identify plants that pack a lot of hosting power.

As you explore this site, hover your mouse over titles, plant and insect names, and photo captions – many of them are linked to sites with additional information!

Agaves and Allies (Family Asparagaceae)

Host plants for the Arizona Giant Skipper, Sandia Hairstreak, Yucca Giant Skipper, Ursine Giant Skipper and Yucca Moth in the Southwest. Asparagaceae, known as the asparagus family, is a family of flowering plants, and includes the Agave and Yucca subfamilies.

Click on a plant name for more information…


“Malvaceae, or the mallows, is a family of flowering plants estimated to contain 244 genera with 4225 known species. Well-known members of economic importance include okracottoncacao and durian. There are also some genera containing familiar ornamentals, such as Alcea (hollyhock), Malva (mallow) and Lavatera (tree mallow), as well as Tilia(lime or linden tree).

The largest genera in terms of number of species includes Hibiscus (300 species). Abutilon is a large genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae.” Larval host for a large variety of butterflies, including Common Checkered Skipper, Gray Hairstreak, Mallow Scrub Hairstreak, Painted Lady, West Coast Lady, Arizona Powdered Skipper, Common Streaky Skipper, Laviana White Skipper, Northern White Skipper, White Checkered Skipper, Cloudless Sulphur and several moth species.


“The Fabaceae or Leguminosae, commonly known as the legume, pea, or bean family, are a large and economically important family of flowering plants. It includes treesshrubs, and perennial or annualherbaceous plants, which are easily recognized by their fruit (legume) and their compound, stipulate leaves. Many legumes have characteristic flowers and fruits.”

Reakirt’s BlueMarine BlueCeraunus BlueMexican Yellow
Mimosa YellowLarge Orange SulphurCoyote Cloudwing Weidemeyer’s Admiral
Lorquin’s AdmiralWestern Tiger Swallowtail Arizona Hairstreak Gray Hairstreak
Great Purple Hairstreak*Leda Ministreak Gold-costa SkipperAcacia Skipper
Rawson’s MetalmarkPalmer’s Metalmark Henry’s Elfin Mourning Cloak
Hubbard’s Small SilkmothTricolor BuckmothSphinx MothOblique Looper Moth
Genista Broom Moth**Burns’ BuckmothGolden Banded-Skipper
Funereal DuskywingLong-tailed Skipper
Butterflies and Moths that use Fabaceae as hosts

*The Great Purple Hairstreak hosts on Mistletoe that grows on Ironwoods, Palo Verdes and Mesquites.

**The genista broom moth (Uresiphita reversalis) eats the leaves of Dermatophyllum trees and may be considered undesirable, however the trees have nectar rich flowers and the moths are food for the eco web.

Information Resources

Arizonensis – A focus for the study and appreciation of Arizona Natural History. Topics include: Plants, Animals, Fungi, Geology, Insects.

Desert Survivors Nursery (Tucson, AZ) – A unique synergy of integrated employment for adults with intellectual  developmental disabilities and a retail native plant nursery in a horticultural therapy setting, celebrating respect for all, human dignity, community and a sense of place.

Mountain States Wholesale Nursery (Phoenix, AZ)

Spadefoot Nursery (Tucson, AZ) – Supplies native plants, domestic edible crops, and botanical curiosities. Our main emphasis is growing and supplying native plants.

SEINet – The SEINet data portal was created to serve as a gateway to distributed data resources of interest to the environmental research community within Arizona and New Mexico.

Southwest Desert Flora – An on-line guide for those curious about wildflowers and natural vegetation in the southwest, primarily Arizona.


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