Tag Archives: Monarch

Monarch-Friendly Plants; Upgraded Site!

9 Feb

220px-Asclepias_physocarpa2

As you probably know (ha!) this is an Asclepias physocarparpa plant (also known as Gomphocarpus physocarpus, commonly balloonplant, balloon cotton-bush or swan plant), a species of milkweed favored by Monarch butterflies.

Question: Are our butterfly plants some sort of milkweed? If yes, what kind? According to this BBG.org story, some milkweeds are great for gardens while others tend to overtake the beds.  So I’m wondering what exactly we already have and what we want to get or enhance.

When I went to the Butterfly Conservatory at the Museum of Natural History a few months ago, one of the butterfly handlers advised me to talk to a local nursery to get the best plants for egg laying, as the female monarch is picky.  But now that I look into it, it seems like the feeding and egg laying plants are the same– milkweeds.  Any thoughts?

Incidentally, a commenter on the BBG story suggests that fennel is a good host food for black swallowtails.

In other news, I’ve updated the website but I’m not sure the bells and whistles have kicked in yet.  I’m writing this on the same old interface.   -Denise

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