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Old 06-22-2009, 12:20 AM   #1
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Default Eupatorium, Host to What?

In Doug Tallamy's book, "Bringing Nature Home" he has a chapter recommending butterfly host plants. In particular he says Eupatorium dubium and E. fistulosum are host to over three dozen species of Lepidoptera. I imagen 36+ species would stand out some but after two years I can say I've seen no caterpillars on the plant. I have a single E. fistulosum that gets about as tall as me every year.

I have looked up what uses this plant, specifically Eupatorium, in the book "Caterpillars of Eastern North America" by David L. Wagner. There seems to only be two, but the index in this book is somewhat hard to use. Other, less common, common names are also used randomly and without species name in place of Eupatorium. Certainly not 36+ versions of Joe Pye Weed though. This year at least I have seen two cabbage butterflies mating on the plant and hanging around it. See images below. So I'm just wondering what everyone's experience is with this plant. Have you ever seen caterpillars nibbling on it's leaves?
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Eupatorium, Host to What?-4butterfliesmating.jpg   Eupatorium, Host to What?-3butterfliesmating.jpg  
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:16 PM   #2
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I find it to be a phenomenal nectar source more than a larval host.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:49 AM   #3
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I don't have any personal experience with caterpillars using Eupatorium, but here's a link to Tallamy's spreadsheet "Lepidopteran Use of Native & Alien Ornamental Plants":
Welcome to the Lepidopteran Ornamental Guide!

I believe that this is the data that he used in his book.
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