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The LEXICON LEPIDOPTEROPHYTA Version 1.7 is the scientific catalogue of native Lebanese lepidopterophytes, a fancy way of saying Lebanese “butterfly and moth plants.” The majority of lepidopterans subsist on plants, either developing on them or feeding off them. These plants consist of larval host plants (LHPs), that is, “host plants,” “food plants,” and also nectar source plants (NSPs), simply “nectar plants.” The host plant maintains the presence of the butterfly and moth and is where they develop and where caterpillars eat, typically the leaves. The nectar plant, on the other hand, attracts these lepidopterans with nectar, a primary source of food and high energy drink. There are hundreds of native lepidopterophytes in Lebanon. Why are these plants important? Native plants not only represent the land’s native flora, they also contain lots of nectar, tolerate local environmental conditions and temperature extremes, and are usually not invasive. Many of these plants, such as oaks, conifers, poplars, willows, wild fruit trees, and others, are also prominent forest and woodland trees. Many, such as umbellifers and crucifers, are also farmland plants, while some such as legumes and grasses, are rangeland species and nitrogen-fixers. Many are also aromatic and have medicinal properties, and are melliferous and important for bees and other pollinators. Threats, such as habitat loss, habitat degradation, deforestation, agricultural expansion and abandonment, climate change, overcollection, overgrazing, herbicide use, invasive species, and genetically-modified plants, that effect these native plants will also effect native butterflies and moths. That’s why butterfly gardening, when carried out with native plants, and when connected with responsible farming and agroforestry practices, and with sustainable and traditional grazing levels, is a type of ecorestoration and is what SPNL is encouraging. The LEXICON, the online version of Butterfly Plants of Lebanon, a later SPNL publication, is therefore a reference for enthusiastic Lebanese butterfly gardeners and butterfly “farmers.” There are harvesting, planting, and growing instructions, photographs, and other resources, with each click. New species are added whenever evident from the literature.


  • Butterfly Plants of Lebanon: A Summary (PowerPoint) Click here





Miltwaste Ceterach officinarum


Black maidenhair Adiantum capillus-veneris


Stone pine Pinus pinea

Aleppo pine Pinus halepensis

Calabrian pine Pinus brutia

Lebanon cedar Cedrus libani

Taurus fir Abies cilicica


Cypress Cupressus sempervirens

Prickly juniper Juniperus oxycedrus

Greek juniper Juniperus excelsa

Foetid juniper Juniperus foetidissima

Phoenician juniper Juniperus phoenicea

Syrian juniper Juniperus drupacea


White willow Salix alba

White poplar Populus alba

Black poplar Populus nigra

European aspen Populus tremula


English walnut Juglans regia


Turkey oak Quercus cerris

Kermes oak Quercus calliprinos

Cyprus oak Quercus infectoria

Holm oak Quercus ilex

Durmast oak Quercus petraea

Downy oak Quercus pubescens


Oriental alder Alnus orientalis


Lesser elm Ulmus minor

European nettle-tree Celtis australis


White mulberry Morus alba

Common fig Ficus carica


Common nettle Urtica dioica

Small nettle Urtica urens

Roman nettle Urtica pilulifera

Sandwort-leaved pellitory Parietaria alsinifolia

Basil-leaved pellitory Parietaria judaica


Poet’s-cassia Osyris alba


Labillardiere’s birthwort Aristolochia billardieri

Tall birthwort Aristolochia altissima

Moorish birthwort Aristolochia maurorum

Small-leaved birthwort Aristolochia parvifolia

Roughish birthwort Aristolochia scabridula

Party-coloured birthwort Aristolochia paecilantha

Botta’s birthwort Aristolochia bottae


Common knotweed Polygonum aviculare

Amphibious knotweed Polygonum amphibium

Pale knotweed Polygonum lapathifolium

Willow-leaved knotweed Polygonum salicifolium

Horsetail knotweed Polygonum equisetiforme

Redshank Polygonum persicaria

Labillardiere’s atraphaxis Atraphaxis billardieri

Mountain sorrel Oxyria digyna

Field sorrel Rumex acetosella

Yellow dock Rumex crispus

Sharp dock Rumex conglomeratus

Red dock Rumex bucephalophorus

Fiddle dock Rumex pulcher

Herb-patience Rumex patientia

Spiny dock Emex spinosa

Rhubarb Rheum ribes


Greek amaranth Amaranthus graecizans

Dwarf copperleaf Alternanthera sessilis

Sea-purslane Atriplex halimus

Sea-blite Suaeda fruticosa

Saltwort Salsola vermiculata

Wild beet Beta vulgaris

Notchweed Chenopodium vulvaria

White goosefoot Chenopodium album

Grey goosefoot Chenopodium opulifolium

Sticky goosefoot Chenopodium botrys

Wall goosefoot Chenopodium murale

Leafy goosefoot Blitum virgatum

Red goosefoot Oxybasis rubra

Upright goosefoot Oxybasis urbica


Lote sweetjuice Glinus lotoides


Common purslane Portulaca oleracea


Wild pink Dianthus strictus

Common campion Silene gallica

Bladder campion Silene vulgaris

Large sand campion Silene conoidea

Common soapwort Saponaria officinalis

Common chickweed Stellaria media


Field buttercup Ranunculus arvensis

Spiny-fruited buttercup Ranunculus muricatus

Celery-leaved buttercup Ranunculus sceleratus

Turban buttercup Ranunculus asiaticus

Windflower Anemone coronaria

Traveller’s joy Clematis vitalba

Oriental larkspur Consolida orientalis

Dolphin-flower Delphinium peregrinum


Lebanon barberry Berberis libanotica


Oriental plane Platanus orientalis


Laurel Laurus nobilis


Field poppy Papaver rhoeas

Fumewort Corydalis solida


Spiny caper Capparis spinosa


Field mustard Brassica rapa

Tournefort’s cabbage Brassica tournefortii

Bladder rocket-salad Eruca vesicaria

Pink mustard Erucaria hispanica

Wild mustard Sinapis arvensis

White mustard Sinapis alba

Hedge mustard Sisymbrium officinale

London rocket Sisymbrium irio

Spreading treacle-mustard Erysimum repandum

Wallflower Cheiranthus cheiri

Garlic mustard Alliaria petiolata

Tansy mustard Descurainia sophia

Hoary mustard Hirschfeldia incana

Shepherd’s-purse Capsella bursa-pastoris

Woad Isatis tinctoria

Hairy bittercress Cardamine hirsute

Shield fibigia Fibigia clypeata

Field pennycress Thlaspi arvense

Cotswold pennycress Thlaspi perfoliatum

Field yellowcress Rorippa arvensis

Cress-rocket Carrichtera annua

Yellow fieldcress Rorippa arvensis

Wild radish Raphanus raphanistrum

Sharp-lobed candytuft Iberis odorata

Towercress Arabis turrita

Lebanon rockcress Aubrieta libanotica

Dame’s-rocket Hesperis pendula

Virginia stock Malcolmia maritima

Colewort Crambe orientalis

Wild rocket Diplotaxis tenuifolia

Broad-leaved pepperwort Lepidium latifolium

Hoary cress Lepidium draba

Sweet alyssum Lobularia maritima

Common watercress Nasturtium officinale


Yellow mignonette Reseda lutea

White mignonette Reseda alba


White stonecrop Sedum album

Tall stonecrop Sedum sediforme


Oriental currant Ribes orientale


Holy bramble Rubus ulmifolius

Hill bramble Rubus collinus

Edible-fruited bramble Rubus bifrons

Azarole Crataegus azarolus

Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna

Coinwort cotoneaster Cotoneaster nummularia

Lebanese wild apple Malus trilobata

Korshinsky’s almond Prunus korshinskyi

Field almond Prunus agrestis

Mountain cherry Prunus prostrate

Small-fruited cherry Prunus microcarpa

Mahaleb cherry Prunus mahaleb

Bear plum Prunus ursina

Wild service-tree Sorbus torminalis

Syrian pear Pyrus syriaca

Wild rose Rosa canina

Sweet briar Rosa glutinosa

Scarlet firethorn Pyracantha coccinea

Field lady’s-mantle Alchemilla arvensis

Common agrimony Agrimonia eupatoria

European cinquefoil Potentilla reptans

Trailing cinquefoil Potentilla supina

Silverweed Potentilla anserina


Judas tree Cercis siliquastrum

Carob Ceratonia siliqua


Tragacanth Astragalus gummifer

Hedgehog milk-vetch Astragalus echinus

Hooked milk-vetch Astragalus hamosus

Large-fruited milk-vetch Astragalus macrocarpus

Narrow-leaved milk-vetch Astragalus angustifolius

Spiny milk-vetch Astragalus spinosus

Pinewood milk-vetch Astragalus pinetorum

Hairy canary-clover Dorycnium hirsutum

Common chickpea Cicer arietinum

Common fenugreek Trigonella foenum-graecum

Rattle-box silver-broom Argyrolobium crotalarioides

Camel-thorn Alhagi maurorum

Red vetchling Lathyrus cicera

Broad-leaved vetchling Lathyrus latifolius

Yellow vetchling Lathyrus aphaca

Meadow vetchling Lathyrus pratensis

Cyprus-vetch Lathyrus ochrus

Kidney vetch Anthyllis vulneraria

Bitumen pea Psoralea bituminosa

Sainfoin Onobrychis cornuta

Cock’s-comb sainfoin Onobrychis caput-galli

Common melilot Melilotus officinalis

White melilot Melilotus albus

Indian melilot Melilotus indicus

Common horseshoe-vetch Hippocrepis unisiliquosa

Spiny restharrow Ononis spinosa

Crown-vetch Coronilla varia

Lebanon crown-vetch Coronilla libanotica

Birdsfoot-trefoil Lotus corniculatus

Hare’s-foot clover Trifolium arvense

Red clover Trifolium pratense

White clover Trifolium repens

Subterranean clover Trifolium subterraneum

Bladder clover Trifolium physodes

Common vetch Vicia sativa

Slender-leaved vetch Vicia tenuifolia

Hairy vetch Vicia hirsuta

Hoary vetch Vicia canescens

Bitter vetch Vicia ervilia

Winter vetch Vicia villosa

Moor’s pea Vicia narbonensis

Thorny-broom Calicotome villosa

Bladder-senna Colutea cilicica

Yellow medick Medicago falcata

Hispid medick Medicago hispida

Black medick Medicago lupulina

Bur medick Medicago lappacea

Prickly liquorice Glycyrhhiza echinata

Sweet-vetch Hedysarum coelesyriacum

Spanish broom Spartium junceum

Syrian broom Cytisus syriacus

White broom Retama raetam

Lebanon needle furze Genista libanotica


Yellow wood-sorrel Oxalis corniculata


Herb-Robert Geranium robertianum

Cut-leaved crane’s-bill Geranium dissectum

Shining crane’s-bill Geranium lucidum

Dove’s-foot crane’s-bill Geranium molle

Round-leaved crane’s-bill Geranium rotundifolium

Tuberous crane’s-bill Geranium tuberosum

Ashy crane’s-bill Geranium cinereum

Common stork’s-bill Erodium cicutarium

Trichomanes-leaved stork’s-bill Erodium trichomanifolium


Bean-caper Zygophyllum fabago

Puncture-vine Tribulus terrestris


Downy flax Linum pubescens


Sun spurge Euphorbia helioscopia

Sea spurge Euphorbia paralias

Spiny spurge Euphorbia erinacea

Petty spurge Euphorbia peplus

Purple spurge Euphorbia peplis

Aleppo spurge Euphorbia aleppica

Bastard sedum Andrachne telephioides

Jerusalem croton Chrozophora hierosolymitana

Dyer’s croton Chrozophora tinctoria

Castor oil plant Ricinus communis

Annual mercury Mercurialis annua


Fringed rue Ruta chalepensis


Trailing milkwort Polygala supina


Terebinth Pistacia palaestina

Lentisk Pistacia lentiscus

Turpentine Pistacia atlantica

Elm-leaved sumach Rhus coriaria


Syrian maple Acer obtusifolium

Hermon maple Acer hyrcanum


Oleaster Elaeagnus angustifolia


Garland thorn Paliurus spina-christi

Common jujube Ziziphus jujuba

Purging buckthorn Rhamnus catharticus

Italian buckthorn Rhamnus alaternus


Grape-vine Vitis vinifera


Common mallow Malva sylvestris

Round-leaved mallow Malva neglecta

Small-flowered mallow Malva parviflora

French mallow Malva nicaeensis

Tree mallow Lavatera trimestris

Common marshmallow Althaea officinalis


St. John’s-wort Hypericum perforatum


Wood violet Viola odorata

Dog violet Viola riviniana


Yellow sun-rose Helianthemum nummularium

Spotted rock-rose Tuberaria guttata


Squirting cucumber Ecballium elaterium

Bryony Bryonia multiflora


Purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria


Common myrtle Myrtus communis


Pomegranate Punica granatum


Great willowherb Epilobium hirsutum


Common dogwood Cornus sanguinea


English ivy Hedera helix


Wild carrot Daucus carota

Wild celery Apium graveolens

Common bishop’s-weed Ammi majus

Toothpick-weed Ammi visnaga

Common dill Anethum graveolens

Poison hemlock Conium maculatum

Coriander Coriandrum sativum

Rock samphire Crithmum maritimum

Common longleaf Falcaria vulgaris

Curled parsley Petroselinum crispum

Corn parsley Ridolfia segetum

Cow parsley Anthriscus nemorosa

Hare’s-ear Bupleurum fruticosum

Common fennel Foeniculum vulgare

Tangier giant-fennel Ferula tingitana

Cretan sea-holly Eryngium creticum

Scalloped heptaptera Heptaptera crenata

Cretan scaligeria Scaligeria cretica

Rushy sulphurwort Peucedanum junceum

Burnet-saxifrage Pimpinella peregrina


Common primrose Primula vulgaris

Lebanon cyclamen Cyclamen libanoticum


Common leadwort Plumbago europaea

Narrow-leaved sea-lavender Limonium angustifolium

Lebanon prickly-thrift Acantholimon libanoticum

Antilebanon prickly-thrift Acantholimon antilibanoticum

Gorse prickly-thrift Acantholimon ulicinum

Wavy thrift Armeria undulata


Olive Olea europeaea

Yellow jasmine Jasminum fruticans

Syrian ash Fraxinus angustifolia

Flowering ash Fraxinus ornus


Oleander Nerium oleander


Common madder Rubia tinctorum

Field woodruff Asperula arvensis

Bedstraw Galium aparine

Yellow bedstraw Galium verum


Common borage Borago officinalis

Italian viper’s-bugloss Echium italicum

Sky-blue bugloss Anchusa azurea

Oriental alkanet Alkanna orientalis

Bearded maiden’s-lip Lappula barbata

Strict forget-me-not Myosotis stricta

Field gromwell Lithospermum arvense

Blunt-leaved monkswort Nonea obtusifolia

Hairy heliotrope Heliotropium hirsutissimum

Palestine comfrey Symphytum palaestinum


Lilac chaste-tree Vitex agnus-castus


Water mint Mentha aquatica

Pennyroyal Mentha pulegium

Dead-nettle Lamium maculatum

French lavender Lavandula stoechas

Common rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis

Syrian marjoram Origanum syriacum

Decussate thyme Thymus decussatus

Conehead thyme Thymus capitatus

Summer savory Satureja thymbra

Linear-leaved savory Micromeria juliana

Viscous phlomis Phlomis viscosa

Long-leaved phlomis Phlomis longifolia

Kurdish phlomis Phlomis kurdica

Cut-leaved phlomis Eremostachys laciniata

Water germander Teucrium scordium

Felty germander Teucrium polium

White-horehound Marrubium vulgare

Gipsywort Lycopus europaeus

Eastern bugle Ajuga orientalis

Shrubby sage Salvia fruticosa

Many-stemmed sage Salvia multicaulis

Clary Salvia sclarea

Wild clary Salvia verbenaca

Field woundwort Stachys arvensis

Wood betony Stachys officinalis

Common self-heal Prunella vulgaris

Lesser calamint Clinopodium nepeta

Syrian catmint Nepeta curviflora

Catnip Nepeta cataria


Spray-flowered heath Erica manipuliflora

Rhododendron Rhododendron ponticum

Common strawberry-tree Arbutus unedo

Greek strawberry-tree Arbutus andrachne


Field bindweed Convolvulus arvensis

Trailing bindweed Convolvulus tricolor

Lebanon bindweed Convolvulus libanoticus

Dwarf bindweed Convolvulus cantabrica

Scammony Convolvulus scammonia


White henbane Hyoscyamus albus

Black nightshade Solanum nigrum


Lebanon figwort Scrophularia libanoticum

Field speedwell Veronica arvensis

Ivy-leaved speedwell Veronica hederifolia

Grey speedwell Veronica polita

Water pimpernel Veronica anagallis-aquatica

Brooklime Veronica beccabunga

Oriental anarrhinum Anarrhinum orientale

Narrow-leaved snapdragon Antirrhinum majus

Lesser snapdragon Misopates orontium

Field toadflax Linaria arvensis

Beirut mullein Verbascum berytheum

Sinai mullein Verbascum sinaiticum

Sinuate mullein Verbascum sinuatum


Bear’s-breeches Acanthus syriacus


Greater plantain Plantago major

Ribwort plantain Plantago lanceolata

Rusty foxglove Digitalis ferruginea


Red spur-valerian Centranthus ruber

Long-flowered spur-valerian Centranthus longiflorus


Dwarf elder Sambucus ebulus

Black elder Sambucus nigra

Etruscan honeysuckle Lonicera etrusca

Nummular-leaved honeysuckle Lonicera nummulariifolia

Laurestine Viburnum tinus

Wild teasel Dipsacus fullonum

Giant scabious Cephalaria syriaca

Scabious Scabiosa intermedia


Rampion bellflower Campanula rapunculus


Wild chamomile Anthemis cotula

Mayweed Matricaria chamomilla

Red star-thistle Centaurea calcitrapa

Yellow star-thistle Centaurea solstitialis

Iberian knapweed Centaurea iberica

Red everlasting Helichrysum sanguineum

Field marigold Calendula arvensis

Safflower Carthamus glaucus

Crown daisy Glebionis coronaria

Corn marigold Glebionis segetum

False daisy Eclipta prostrata

Lesser burdock Arctium minor

Wild artichoke Cynara cardunculus

Italian plumeless thistle Carduus pycnocephalus

Spear thistle Cirsium vulgare

Carline-thistle Carlina curetum

Blessed-thistle Cnicus benedictus

Cotton-thistle Onopordum carduiforme

Globe-thistle Echinops spinosissimus

Field cottonrose Filago arvensis

Broadleaf cottonrose Filago pyramidata

White wormwood Artemisia herba-alba

Yarrow Achillea fragrantissima

Prickly lettuce Lactuca serriola

Saw-wort Serratula pusilla

Milk thistle Silybum marianum

Woody fleabane Dittrichia viscosa

Pluchea Pluchea dioscoridis

Stinking hawkweed Crepis foetida

Labillardiere’s hawkweed Hieracium labillardierei

Common chicory Cichorium intybus

Goldenrod Solidago glabra

Rush skeletonweed Chondrilla juncea

Common saw-thistle Sonchus oleraceus

Spiny saw-thistle Sonchus asper

Slender saw-thistle Sonchus tenerrimus

Common fleabane Pulicaria dysenterica

Common groundsel Senecio vulgaris

Common tansy Tanacetum parthenium

Coltsfoot Tussilago farfara

Common dandelion Taraxacum officinale

Viper’s-grass Scorzonera judaica

Oriental scariola Scariola orientalis

Hemp-agrimony Eupatorium cannabinum

Spiny burweed Xanthium spinosum

Prickly burweed Xanthium echinatum


Wild leek Allium ampeloprasum

Wild garlic Allium vineale

Daffodil garlic Allium neapolitanum

Oriental hyacinth Hyacinthus orientalis

Grape-hyacinth Muscari negelctum

Common asphodel Asphodelus microcarpus


Daffodil Narcissus serotinus


Sword-lily Gladiolus segetum

Iris Iris palaestina


Soft rush Juncus effusus


Common meadow-grass Poa pratensis

Annual meadow-grass Poa annua

Wood meadow-grass Poa nemoralis

Rough meadow-grass Poa trivialis

Wild barley Hordeum vulgare

Wild wheat Triticum boeoticum

False oat-grass Arrhenatherum elatius

Club-grass Corynephorus articulatus

Couch-grass Elymus repens

Brome Bromus rigidus

Heath false-brome Brachypodium pinnatum

Wood false-brome Brachypodium sylvaticum

Velvet-grass Holcus lanatus

Bearded feather-grass Stipa barbata

Small-flowered feather-grass Stipa parviflora

Meadow fescue Festuca pratensis

Volga fescue Festuca valesiaca

Hair-grass Aira elegans

Bent-grass Agrostis stolonifera

Feather reed-grass Calamagrostis epigejos

Foxtail Alopecurus myosuroides

Sweet vernal-grass Anthoxanthum odoratum

Orchard-grass Dactylis glomerata

Melick Melica ciliate

Winter rye-grass Lolium perenne

Darnel rye-grass Lolium temulentum

Common coach-grass Agropyron repens

Wire-grass Cynodon dactylon

Panic-grass Panicum repens

Timothy-grass Phleum arenarium

Millet-grass Paspalum paspaloides

Fountain-grass Pennisetum setaceum

Ravenna-grass Saccharum ravennae

Johnson-grass Sorghum halepense

Thatching-grass Hyparrhenia hirta

Reed canary-grass Phalaris arundinacea

Reed Phragmites australis


Spotted arum Arum dioscorides


Common bulrush Typha latifolia

Lesser bulrush Typha angustifolia


Bracteate marsh-sedge Carex divisa

Great club-rush Scirpus lacustris


Lizard orchid Himantoglossum caprinum 


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