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Time to tell us your Top Three Nectar Plants of the Season!

McLean, VA(Zone 6b)

Thompson and Morgan has a 30" tithonia. It looks like there are three different colors in the mix - yellow, orange, and red.

http://www.tmseeds.com/product/3498.html

This message was edited Oct 28, 2007 8:09 PM

Houston, TX

Marsue,

Here is what 2 Gulf Frit's look like.

Rod

Thumbnail by catbird8
Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)


The T & M "Arcadian Blend" tithonia is on my list for next year. I do grow T. 'Fiesta del Sol' and 'Torch', but they both look pretty much the same for me...

But what about that West Texas Mist Flower?!! Great photo, Blue Glancer! Looks like a real ringer for the BF garden! (Although we don't attract 'Queens' to our area. And I believe the closest flower we have in our region to the Texas native is wild ageratum... or maybe boneset? Any other ideas on this?)

Various Plant File 'Mist Flowers': http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/search.php?q=%22mist+flower%22&Search=Search+PlantFiles

JuneBug I saw your thread from August about your success with meadow liatris 'ligustylus' (unsurpassed for the monarchs according to Missouri Botanical Gdns.) and the monarchs. I have not had such good luck with growing it but I think it's because of the 'wet feet' issue. It may be another good one for a big pot to insure good drainage in the garden...? I do have 3 or four other liatris in the garden that are very nice for the butterflies.

Liatris listed in Plant Files: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/b/Asteraceae/Liatris/none/cultivar/0/

My head is whirling with new ways to organize our butterfly garden!! Thanks for all the good observations, everyone!

Oshkosh, WI(Zone 5a)

Tabasco, you're so right about meadow liatris not liking wet feet! Two of mine died because they got too much run-off from the roof in one of the foundation beds. They were REALLY popular with the butterflies, so I might try to find a new place for them next year. (They also got really tall & spindly, which was disappointing. But I'll keep trying.)

My "fiesta del sol" tithonia (the shorter kind) got about 3.5 feet tall and nice and bushy. I liked how they looked as a front of border plant where I had them (with tall perennial sunflower and swamp milkweed behind them).

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

Tab, I've never seen boneset, but it looks like it would be a good BF plant. Someone gave me a few seeds of some kind of ageratum, I'm gonna try them in the spring and see what they do.

As far as the West Texas Mist flower, http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/53449/ , other Bf's try to sneak in for a sip, but the queens try to chase them off. lol They think those plants are just for them. : ) I have seen the Monarchs and Gulf Frits on them also.
~Lucy

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

great photos, catbird and Blue. I am definitely going to have to study up on the butterflies that are common to my area so I will be able to identify them.

Cordele, GA(Zone 8a)

Looking out my sunroom window, my Indigo Spires Salvia is covered with long tailed skippers and Gulf Frits. Also, high on the menu are zinnias and Gaillardia Golden Goblin. I did not plant any zinnas this year but had plenty of volunteers from last year. Zinnas will be high priority next year since they bloom for so long.

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

Marsue,

Here is BIG resource for State of Arkansas BF.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/map?ds=4&_dcs=1

enjoy.

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

thanks, pford--I'll will certainly check it out!

Somerset, KY(Zone 6b)

Marsue, I just noticed that you can click on your county outline on the map, and it will show the documented accounts for your county. If you have pictures of butterflies that are not on the list, I can give you futher instructions on how to add them to the list. (or just follow the links found on the site)

EVERYONE is also welcome to help update this site. Select your state and county and see if your local butterflies are currently on the list.

This site is only SECOND to our favorite DAVE'S GARDEN website. he he.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/map

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

I clicked on the county outline and there were only 3 entries for Lonoke County! Hard to believe.
I had pics of spicebush swallowtail when I lived in Faulkner County but I don't have any pics of butterflies over here. It's probably almost too late to get any this season. :o(

Lutz, FL(Zone 9b)

Marsue, I do have three kinds of passiflora growing right now. Two aren't big enough yet and the butterflies seem to know that. The Gulf Frit caterpillars are scary looking, but they're harmless. I don't actually touch caterpillars (I'm still a girly-girl and trying to get over that) but I hear the black stuff is actually soft and fuzzy, not prickly. For the size my cats are, they are eating a ton right now! I thought I gave them plenty of leaves but when I got home tonight they already needed more.

(Becky) in Sebastian, FL(Zone 10a)

LOL, Melanie! You are raising them, but you don't touch them???? How do you do that???? Inquiring minds want to know!

Half the fun is letting them crawl all over your hands and up your arms! I even talk to mine like they are a pet or something! LOL! And I do get attached to some of them! They definitely have personalities! (I know some reading this may think I'm a bit over the deep end...... lol)

I guess I am just not a squeemish girlie-girl. My mom always said I was a tomboy! :-)

Jeffersonville, IN(Zone 6b)

Ok, confession time. I'm just like Mellie. I don't touch the cats either. Ok, I pet them, but I don't pick them up or let them crawl on me. LOL!! After they eclose, yes, cat form, nope.

I agree! They do have different personalities, don't they? Some are more uptight than others, and some like the attention more -- just observing Cori and the cats.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I am not squeamish about picking them up, but I don't because they are really fragile and they don't like it either. Sometimes when you disturb them as they are molting, even by accident, they won't complete the process and they die. Could be they were going to die anyway, but just to error on the side of caution I quit handling them. My sucess rate went up.

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Hmmm--I may have to re-think raising caterpillars! I will probably do it Sheila's way but if I start talking to them my DH might have me committed! LOL

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Will you get to pick the place?...., you need to start looking now! Once you start it is compulsive. You will want to rescue them all. LOL!

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

I was afraid of that! Compulsive, as in: Dave's Garden? I'm in big trouble now, LOL!

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

White ButterflyClerodendrum calamitosum

This plant seems irresistible to the pollinators...they buzz around long enough to even capture some good photos. This is a picture of the evening shift starting out for the
hummingbird/sphynx moth.

Thumbnail by rjuddharrison
Cordele, GA(Zone 8a)

Oh boy, that White ButterflyClerodendrum calamitosum
is now on my endless wish list! Goregous.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

It is a great plant. It blooms for a long time in spring and Fall..wave after wave of blooms.
I bought it at zone9tropicals.com

Cordele, GA(Zone 8a)

Hummm, zone 9, well, I've been know to challenge the zones before. I'll visit that site. Thanks.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

LOL....me too
I've collected alot of my clerodendrums from there.

Cordele, GA(Zone 8a)

I just took a quick sneek peek at that site while listing that shrub in may want List. (I use the trade tool as my personal "want to buy it notebook" rather than a trading tool, lol) Nice site for plants you don't see at walk-in nurseries.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Yes, I've gotten quite a few interesting plants there.
I like that trade tool idea...can anyone go look at your want list?

Cordele, GA(Zone 8a)

Sure. Every plant in plantfiles lists people who either have it or want it. Just click on the tab in plantfiles. Many folks will use the trade tracker to capture plantfiles pictures and information that will transfer over rather than using the journal feature. Some who use it for their personal use usually say rather or not a plant is tradeable or not. I do use the journals for my "haves" because I like to record more information than the trade tracker has room for. But for plants that I want to remember to list as a "want list", the tracker can't be beat.

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

To only pick 3 is difficult, but I guess these would be the 3 I'd list as being the top.

Liatris pycnostachya
Vernonia fasciculata
Eupatorium purpureum

edited for grammar


This message was edited Oct 23, 2007 8:34 PM

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I like that idea! Thanks...

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

rjudd..
Does the Butterfly Clerodendrum calamitosum have a smell? It's very pretty.
~Lucy

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Yes, it becomes lightly fragrant in the evenings.
Rj

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

Thanks, Rj
~Lucy

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

you betcha

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)


Interesting to see ironweed listed http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1998/

It is often overlooked for butterfly gardening and I think it's rather pretty. I see it in our park and the butterflies are all over it in fall so I collected some seed for wintersowing.

I like the idea of using the 'trade tracker' for the 'want to buy' list. I hadn't thought of using it that way, and don't often visit that page because I don't generally trade for seeds/plants (not organized enough). thanks for the tip.



Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

A butterfly garden isn't a butterfly garden without Vernonia fasciculata, IMHO of course ☺
It's gorgeous and is always covered in butterflies in my yard.

Putnam County, IN(Zone 5b)

So glad I saw this. I have lurked on this forum and have become very interested in adding more plants to attract the butterflies. This will be very helpful!

Isabella, MO(Zone 6b)

Well that does it! If it is good enough for terry it is good enough for me--Vernonia fasciculata, that is.
I'm putting it on my want list (and it will grow in my zone according to the Plant Files info.

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)


I am sorting and de-chaffing my iron weed seeds and if you want some, anyone, d-mail me.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Can you guys link plantfiles with some of your choices so we can see what they are?
Thanks
Rj

Lutz, FL(Zone 9b)

Good idea RJ! Well, I got brave and touched my butterfly today. I had a zebra ST eclose and I picked him up like they do on Animal Planet (by the tips of their wings held together). He freaked a little but he's ok. As for the cats, I have bamboo sticks that I use for staking plants, and I put some in the critter keeper so the cats have something to crawl on. I also use them to transport and move the cats like when I'm cleaning. Other times, I let them crawl on a leaf.

Sheila is 100% right. I used to worry when the cats would be too still and try to move them onto a leaf but then I read about molting. I think I was unintentionally killing them too, because my success rate has also increased. I also hesitate to touch anything that's going to spray me with those stinkhorns (as I call them). Polydamas cats aren't too bad (the pipevine smells so bad I can't tell if the cats smell or not) but the zebra STs are so smelly when they get angry.

A lot of the butterflies have fuzzy bodies that make me want to pet them, but at that point they also have the ability to fly away. I will admit to talking to the cats like you would a dog (kinda like baby talk but not quite that crazy).

Melanie

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Cool, sounds like a learning experience for the cats.
Do you have a thread and pictures for us to look at ? Speaking of molting, there is a toad that lives by the pond, and my chair has a good view of the toad aka "Fraizer" when he comes out of his little toad den. I watched him molt 1 evening. Alls I can say, is glad that I don't have to do it!
rj

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