American Lady Life Cycle
Raising American Ladies
Though this butterfly has a wide range of host plants, so far I have only found them on cudweed. It’s easy to find caterpillars—just look for the nest made of silk and chewed up leaves at the top of the plant.
The caterpillars do well being left on cudweed until late instar. Hand-raising them earlier is fine; cudweed stays hydrated in a DIY vase.
The American Lady is a full-time resident in Orange County, NC. It is typically one of the earliest and latest butterflies to be seen in the yard.
Additional host plants include pussytoes, ironweed, wormwood, and pearly everlasting.