Giant Swallowtail Host Plants

Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

A Giant Swallowtail lays eggs on wild lime

Remember: Always purchase host plants by their botanical names. The same common names can be used for several plants, sometimes not related at all.


Giant Swallowtail butterflies use the following plants as host plants:

Citrus plants (orange, lemon, etc) – Citrus spp.
Rue – Ruta graveolens (Some people have bad reactions to rue, including marks on the skin as if they were burned.)
Hop tree – Ptelea trifoliata
Hercules club – Zanthoxylum clava-herculis (Thorny)
Prickly ash – Zanthoxylum americanum (Thorny)
Wild lime – Zanthoxylum fagara (Thorny)
Gas plant – Dictamnus albus
Sea torchwood – Amyris elemifera
Mexican orange – Choisya dumosa
White sapote – Casimiroa edulis

Rue: Orange Giant Swallowtail eggs are on the left and off-white Eastern Black Swallowtail eggs are on the right.
A Monarch butterfly drinks nectar from Hercules’ Club blooms
Hop tree