Zebra Heliconian Nectar Plants Heliconius charithonia
My first Zebra Heliconian (Zebra Longwing) Butterfly page shows the life cycle of the butterfly. Click above to visit it.
Zebra Heliconian (Zebra Longwing) Butterfly nectars on
		Firebush and has pollen on its proboscis
Zebra Heliconian (Zebra Longwing) Butterfly perched on finger
See all the yellow pollen stuck to its proboscis? The Zebra Heliconian Butterfly (or Zebra Longwing, if you prefer,) is one of the few butterflies able to digest pollen.
The Zebra Heliconian (Zebra Longwing) Butterfly on the left is nectaring on Firebush. Firebush is the all time favorite nectar plant of the Zebra Heliconian Butterflies in my yard. It is a native Florida plant, but there are non native varieties available that the serious conservationists really dislike. Meadow Beauty sells the native variety.
Zebra Heliconian (Zebra Longwing) Butterfly nectars on Spanish Needles
Zebra Heliconian (Zebra Longwing)Butterfly nectars on Spanish Needles
The Zebra Butterfly on the left is nectaring on Spanish Needles.

I have a love-hate relationship with that particular weed. The butterflies absolutely adore it, so I have to keep some, but the name defines the burrs. Visit my Spanish Needles Nectar Plant page for pictures of the 'needles' and more information about the plant.

Zebra Heliconian (Zebra Longwing) Butterfly nectars on Butterfly Bush
Another favorite nectar plant of Zebra Heliconians is Jatropha. The Zebra in the photo below is sipping from one. It's a small decorative tree with red flowers. I don't think it's a Florida native plant, but I'm keeping mine because it's pretty, and my butterflies like it too.
Zebra Heliconian (Zebra Longwing) Butterfly nectars on Jatropha
Butterfly Bush (above) is another good one, but I understand it's not native here, and mine kept dying so I finally quit wasting money buying more of them. No, they're so pretty I'd have probably wasted a bit more, but digging holes in the hot Florida sun for a plant that will die in a season? Nope, I'm not doing that any more unless it re-seeds itself for me.
Zebra Heliconian (Zebra Longwing) Butterfly nectars on Spanish Needles
Golden Dewdrop (above) comes with purple or white (and possibly more colors) flowers. The name describes the seeds. Mine is growing next to a Firebush. Most of the time my Zebra Butterflies sip from the Firebush, but every so often they pause and taste the Golden Dewdrop too.
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Unless otherwise indicated, all of my photos are in Palm Beach and Broward Counties in South East Florida. Butterflies in your area might prefer other flowers; follow them to find out.
Life Cycle of the Zebra Heliconian
Zebra Heliconian Host Plants

Compare the three butterflies (Zebra, Gulf, and Julia) that use passion vines as their host plant

Zebra Heliconian "Birds and the Bees"

Now I've also seen these butterflies sip nectar from Lantana, Porterweed, and other flowers.
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