Indigenous Nursery News Blog

Butterfly Host Plants For Gauteng

Butterflies have very specific plants (host plants) that they will lay their eggs on, and this differs from species to species. The caterpillars that hatch from these eggs can either feed almost exclusively on one species or they will feed off of a number of host plant species across a few genera and families.

There are some plant species that will support more than one caterpillar (butterfly) species. Below is a list of what indigenous butterfly host plant to plant for which butterfly you would like to attract to your garden. The butterflies included in this list are those that occur in Gauteng. Many of these plants are available at Random Harvest Indigenous Nursery. For more information and garden design ideas read our blog on creating a butterfly balcony garden or speak to our knowledgeable staff at the nursery.

As butterflies lay eggs that hatch into hungry caterpillars, planting host plants to feed butterfly babies does mean that these plants will, at certain times of the year, have holes in their leaves, and sometimes their flowers too. Mostly you will not even notice where the caterpillars have been eating but they do denude some plants such as the Kiggelaria africana (Wild Peach) which gets devoured by the Garden Acraea butterfly. Don’t worry about this as the plants are evolved to cope with it. The caterpillar droppings fertilise the tree which bursts into leaf again in a matter of days. If you want butterflies in your garden do not get out the pesticides to spray as you will be killing your butterflies.

Butterfly host plants in Gauteng

Butterflies and their host plants in Gauteng

  • Acacia gerrardii - Black striped hairtail
  • Acacia karroo - Black striped hairtail, Common Hairtail, Common Scarlet, Thorn Tree Blue. Topaz Blue
  • Acacia polyacantha - Common Scarlet, Thorn Tree Blue
  • Acacia sieberiana - Black striped hairtail, Common Scarlet, Thorn Tree Blue
  • Acacia sp. - Black striped hairtail, Thorn Tree Blue, Topaz Blue, Velvet spotted Blue
  • Acridocarpus sp. - Two Pip Policeman
  • Allophylus africanus - Common Hairtail
  • Arctotheca calendula - Painted Lady
  • Arctotis stoechadifolia - Painted Lady
  • Asclepias fruticosa - African Monarch
  • Asystasia gangetica - Blue Pansy, Brown Commodore, Yellow Pansy, Common Diadem
  • Barleria sp. - Yellow Pansy
  • Bauhinia galpinii - Foxy emperor
  • Berkheya discolor - Painted Lady
  • Bersama sp - Common Hairtail
  • Boscia albitrunca - African Common White, Brown Veined White, Zebra White
  • Cabbage family  (Brassicaceae or Cruciferae)- Meadow White
  • Calodendrum capensis - Citrus Swallowtail, Green banded Swallowtail
  • Capparis sp. - Brown Veined White
  • Capparis tomentosa - African Common White
  • Cassia sp. - African Migrant
  • Catha edulis - Foxy emperor
  • Ceropegia - African Monarch
  • Chaetacanthus setiger - Gaike Blue, Yellow Pansy, Pirate, Small Marbled Elf
  • Clausena anisata - Citrus Swallowtail, Green banded Swallowtail
  • Combretum apiculatum - Striped Policeman
  • Combretum bracteosum - Striped Policeman
  • Combretum sp. - Two Pip Policeman
  • Cotyledon orbiculata - Pale Hairtail
  • Crotalaria sp. - Long-tailed Blue
  • Cynodon sp. - Common Hottentot Skipper, Twilight Brown
  • Dovyalis caffra - African Leopard
  • Dyschoriste sp. - Gaike Blue, Small Marbled Elf
  • Faidherbia albida - Brown Playboy
  • Ficus species - Fig Tree Blue
  • Ficus sur - Fig Tree Blue
  • Fircus ingens - Fig Tree Blue
  • Gazania sp. - Painted Lady
  • Geranium sp. - Geranium Bronze
  • Heliophila sp. - Meadow White
  • Huernia sp. - African Monarch
  • Hyparrhenia hirta - Table Mountain Beauty
  • Hypericum sp. - Broad-bordered Grass Yellow
  • Imperata cylindrica - Barbers Rangers
  • Indigofera sp. - Common Blue, Short Toothed Blue, Two Pip Policeman
  • Justicia sp. - Gaike Blue, Small Marbled Elf
  • Kalanchoe sp.    Common Hairtail
  • Kiggelaria africana - Garden acraea
  • Kniphofia sp. - Table Mountain Beauty
  • Lonchocarpus capassa - Striped Policeman
  • Mackaya bella - Blue Pansy
  • Maytenus sp. - African Leopard, Foxy emperor
  • Mundulea sericea - Common Blue, Short Toothed Blue
  • Pappea capensis - Common Hairtail
  • Pelargonium sp. - Geranium Bronze
  • Peltophorum africanum - Van son’s Emperor
  • Plectranthus sp. - Eyed Pansy, Garden Inspector, Gaudy commodore, Marsh commodore
  • Plumbago auriculata - Common Blue, Short Toothed Blue
  • Polygala sp. - Long-tailed Blue
  • Ptaeroxylon obliquum - Citrus Swallowtail
  • Pycnostachys reticulata - Gaudy commodore, Marsh commodore
  • Pycnostachys urticifolia - Gaudy commodore
  • Ruellia sp. - Gaike Blue
  • Schotia afra - Brown Playboy
  • Schotia brachypetala - Foxy emperor
  • Setaria sp. - Twilight Brown
  • Senna petersiana - African Migrant
  • Senna sp. - Broad-bordered Grass Yellow
  • Sphedamnocarpus pruriens - Striped Policeman
  • Stapelia sp. - African Monarch
  • Stipa dregeana - Dismal Sylph
  • Sutherlandia sp. - Long-tailed Blue
  • Syzigium guineense - Brown Playboy
  • Thunbergia sp. - Eyed Pansy
  • Trimeria grandifolia - African Leopard
  • Vepris lanceolata - Citrus Swallowtail, Green banded Swallowtail
  • Vigna sp. - Common Blue, Short Toothed Blue
  • Zanthoxylon capensis - Green banded Swallowtail

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