Return to the Butterfly Garden Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Centauria as Host for AL

Posted by Leafhead 4b WI ( on
Wed, Jun 18, 14 at 12:44

Has anyone heard of American Ladies using Centauria as a host plant? I've always thought the caterpillars were limited to the Leonapodoides tribe of Asteraceae (Pussytoes, Everlasting, Edelweiss, Artemisia etc). This morning I found the tell tale nest with a cat inside on my Mountain Blues Centauria. He must have ran out of Pussytoes and found a home there. Uff-da!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Centauria as Host for AL

Never heard of them using it. Keep tabs on it and let us know if it succeeds. I have some everlasting growing near my centaurea.

RE: Centauria as Host for AL

Must like the tomentose (fuzzy) leaves.

American Lady Host Plant List

I did a little searching and found it listed as a host on this website (see link below).

"1) American Painted Lady (American Lady Butterfly)

Aster family (Asteraceae) including:

Apple Blossom (Aster novi-belgii)
Barr's Pink (Aster novae-angliae)
King George (Aster amellus)
Purple Dome (Aster novae-angliae)

Basket Flower (Centaurea americana)
Blueweed (Echium vulgare)
Borage (Borago officinalis)
Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)
Burdock (Arctium lappa)
Cudweed (Gnaphalium falcatum)
Cheeseweed (Malva parviflora)
Common Mallow (Malva neglecta)
Daisy (Bellis perennis or Leucanthemum vulgare)
Douglas' sagewort (Artemisia douglasiana)
Everlasting (Asteraceae)
Field Balsam/Rabbit Tobacco (Gnaphalium obtusifolium)
Forget-me-not (Myosotis sp)
Globe Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)
High Mallow (Malva sylvestris)
Hollyhocks (Malva alcea)
Knapweed (Centaurea americana)
Licorice icicles (Helichrysum thianschanicum)
Licorice Plant (Helichrysum petiolare)
Little Mallow (Malva parviflora)
Mexican Sagebrush (Artemisia ludoviciana)
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
Mugwort/Common Wormwood (Artemisia vulgaris)
Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans)
Nettle (Urtica sp)
Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)
Plantains (Plantago and Musa sp)
Purple cudweed (Gnaphalium purpureum)
Pussytoes (Antennaria parlinii)
Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)
Running Mallow (Malva neglecta)
Scotch-Thistle (Onopordum acanthium)
Silver Brocade (Artemisia stellariana)
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum sp)
Sweet Everlasting (Gnaphalium obtusifolium)
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Tall Thistle (Cirsium altissimum)
Texas Thistle (Cirsium texanum)
Wavy-Leaf Thistle (Cirsium undulatum)
Western Marsh Cudweed (Gnaphalium palustre)
Western Sagewort (Artemisia campestris)
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)"

Here is a link that might be useful: Host Plants for Butterflies

RE: Centauria as Host for AL

Keep us posted as to how the caterpillar does, John.

I've never heard of that plant being used.


RE: Centauria as Host for AL

That list sounds more like the Painted Lady's diet. I followed that link and it seemed to lump all the Vanessas (Cynthias) together.
Meanwhile, AL cat #2 has found its way to my Mountain Blues Centauria and has gone thru half a leaf! I think I'm witnessing a species jumping in progress...

RE: Centauria as Host for AL

From Dr. James Scott's CD-ROM, "The Butterflies of North America, "A Natural History and Field Guide." I recommend this for easy access to information on butterflies.

Centaurea solstitialis, nigra, is listed for the Painted Lady. The ladies do share some common host plants.

"Vanessa virginiensis American Painted Lady
Hostplants herb Compositae: Gnaphalium palustre, obtusifolium, bicolor, purpureum, Antennaria parvifolia, plantaginifolia, neodioica, Anaphalis margaritacea, Artemisia douglasiana, absinthium (?), stelleriana (?), ludoviciana, Arctium lappa, Cirsium arvense, Carduus, Onopordum acanthium, Silybum marianum, Helianthus, Vernonia, Senecio maritima (?), cineraria; Boraginaceae: Echium vulgare, Myosotis; Leguminosae: Lupinus; Malvaceae: Althaea rosea, Malva; Urticaceae: Urtica; Balsaminaceae: Impatiens capensis (?); Scrophulariaceae: Antirrhinum. Prefers the Compositae tribe Inuleae (the first three genera)."

"Vanessa cardui Painted Lady
Hostplants herb (rarely shrub or tree) Compositae: Cirsium arvense, texanum, discolor, vulgare, occidentale, muticum, altissimum, undulatum, breweri, neomexicanum, centaureae, solstitialis, hydrophilum, scopulorum, hesperium, Cynara scolymus, Onopordum acanthium, Silybum marianum, Carduus nutans, acanthoides, crispus, Arctium lappa, minus, Lappa officinalis, Cnicus benedictus, Artemisia frigida, stelleriana, vulgaris, ludoviciana var. gnaphalodes, Calendula officinalis, Centaurea solstitialis, nigra, Achillea millefolium, Anaphalis margaritacea, Helianthus annuus, argophyllus, Helianthella, Filago arvensis (Europe), Helichrysum, Lactuca sativa, Chrysanthemum, Parthenium argentatum, Senecio maritima (?), cineraria (?), Serratula (?), Wyethia glabra, Tanacetum, Xanthium pennsylvanicum var. canadense; Boraginaceae: Amsinckia douglasiana, Borago officinalis, Cryptantha angustifolia, Echium vulgare, Nonea, Anchusa officinalis, Symphytum officinale, Lycopsis; Malvaceae: Althaea rosea, officinalis, Malva parviflora, sylvestris, neglecta, nicaeensis, moschata, Sida hederacea, Sphaeralcea ambigua, Gossypium; Chenopodiaceae: Beta vulgaris, Chenopodium album (?); Hydrophyllaceae: Eriodictyon californicum, Phacelia campanularia; Leguminosae: Glycine max, Lupinus bicolor, albifrons, formosus, perennis, arboreus, argenteus, succulentus, arcticus var. subalpinus, Medicago sativa, Phaseolus vulgaris, Pisum sativum, Trifolium; Urticaceae: Soleirolia (Helxine), Parietaria, Urtica urens, dioica ssp. gracilis (?); Labiatae: Mentha, Salvia, Stachys sieboldii; Verbenaceae: Lantana; Solanaceae: Nicotiana glauca, Petunia, Solanum tuberosum; Rosaceae: Fragaria, Prunus (a tree); Convolvulaceae: Ipomoea batatas; Plantaginaceae: Plantago lanceolata; Cruciferae: Raphanus sativus; Polygonaceae: Rumex; Umbelliferae: Eryngium; vine Cucurbitaceae: Cucumis melo; shrub Rhamnaceae: Rhamnus; tree Ulmaceae: Ulmus americana; tree Rutaceae: Citrus sinensis; the grass Zea mays (in Europe). Obviously prefers Compositae, esp. Cirsium. Sometimes a pest on Iowa soybeans (Glycine). One larva eats about 234 square cm of soybean leaves in its lifetime, all but 7 square cm in the last two larval stages (F. Poston)."

Inuleae Tribe

Scott said "Prefers the Compositae tribe Inuleae (the first three genera)."

That little caterpillar knows what it is doing.

Centaurea is in the Family: Asteraceae.

"Inuleae is a tribe of flowering plants in the subfamily Asteroideae.

Asteroideae is a subfamily of the plant family Asteraceae. It contains about 70% of the species of the family.

It is made of several tribes including Astereae, Calenduleae, Eupatorieae, Gnaphalieae, Heliantheae, Senecioneae and Tageteae.

Asteraceae or Compositae (commonly referred to as the aster, daisy, composite, or sunflower family) is the name of an exceedingly large and widespread family of flowering plants (Angiospermae). The group has more than 23,000 currently accepted species, spread across 1,620 genera (list) and 12 subfamilies."

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Butterfly Garden Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here