California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Giant Swallowtail - Papilio cresphontes

The Giant Swallowtail is sometimes a pest on citrus trees, hence the other common name of Orange Dog. The Giant Swallowtail caterpillars can make a mess of a small tree but rarely do significant damage to a full sized tree. The caterpillars feed on a variety of other plants from the Rutacea family. The Giant Swallowtail caterpillars are a bird poop mimic. And the butterflies are spectacular, welcome additions to most any butterfly garden. The adults sip nectar from a wide variety of plants including this Lantana, honeysuckle, verbena, a variety of plants in the carnation family and a bunch more in the daisy family, milkweeds, azaleas and bouganvillea. The Giant Swallowtail eggs look like bits of orange peel and age to black. Follow the link for our full series of Giant Swallowtail photos

Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes

Giant Swallowtail sipping the nectar of a yellow lantana. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes

Giant Swallowtail feeding on Verbena bonariensis. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

Plants to attract the Giant Swallowtail to your garden:
Asclepias angustifolia * Arizona Milkweed
Asclepias californica * California Milkweed
Asclepias cordifolia * Purple Milkweed
Asclepias curassavica * Tropical Milkweed
Asclepias curassavica Red Butterflies * Red Butterflies Tropical Milkweed
Asclepias curassavica Silky Gold * Silky Gold Tropical Milkweed
Asclepias eriocarpa * Woollypod Milkweed, Indian Milkweed, Kotolo Milkweed
Aslepias erosa * Desert Milkweed
Asclepias fascicularis * Narrow Leaf Milkweed
Asclepias linaria * Pine Needle Milkweed
Asclepias speciosa * Showy Milkweed
Asclepias subulata * Rush Milkweed, Skeleton Milkweed
Asclepias tuberosa * Butterfly Weed
Aster chilensis Purple Haze * Purple Haze California Aster, Purple Haze Pacific Aster
Bougainvillea Barbara Karst
Bougainvillea Flame
Bougainvillea Rosenka
Chrysothamnus nauseosus * Rabbit Brush
Cirsium occidentale * Cobwebby Thistle
Encelia californica * California Brittle Bush, Coast Sunflower
Encelia californica El Dorado * El Dorado Brittle Bush
Encelia Californica Paleo Yellow * Paleo Yellow Brittle Bush
Encelia farinosa * Brittle Bush
Encelia ventorum * Baja Bush Sunflower
Ericameria nauseosa * Rabbit Brush
Erigeron argentatus * Silver Fleabane
Erigeron Bountiful * Bountiful Seaside Daisy
Erigeron karvinskianus Santa Barbara Daisy, Mexican Daisy
Erigeron Sea Breeze * Sea Breeze Seaside Daisy
Erigeron speciosa * Aspen Fleabane, Showy Fleabane, Oregon Fleabane
Erigeron Wayne Roderick * Wayne Roderick Seaside Daisy
Gomphocarpus fruticosus * Swan Milkweed, Narrow Leaf Cotton Plant
Gomphocarpus physocarpus * Family Jewels, Hairy Balls
Kumquat Nagami
Lantana Luscious Citrus Blend
Lantana variegata Lemon Swirl
Lonicera involucrata
Lonicera japonica
Lonicera japonica purpurea
Lonicera subspicata denudata
Ruta graveolens * Rue
Tithonia rotundifolia * Mexican Sunflower
Verbena bonariensis * Purpletop Vervain
Verbena bonariensis Little One * Dwarf Purpletop Vervain