Monarch Butterfly Way Station

A site with plants Monarch Butterfly larvae consume and floral nectar adult Monarchs consume (  Monarch larvae consume only Asclepias (Milkweed) shoots and shoots of some closely related genera.  The most hardy Milkweed in the WDC Area is Asclepias syriaca.  I have grown 4 other Asclepias species in GEH, and sometimes the Monarch larvae, totally defoliated some of their shoots.  Monarch mothers tend to lay their eggs on new Asclepias shoots.  Therefore, it is good to cut some Asclepias syriaca shoots to the ground in July.  This causes new shoots to grow.  Mother Monarch’s frequently lay eggs on new shoots.   I wrote the part on growing Asclepias syriaca here: .  Perhaps GEH has only one Monarch Way Station – my garden.  GEH should have many more.  This butterfly is showing notable population declines.  Asclepias syriaca is beautiful even as old stalks with follicles that produce seeds with pappi (= long, white flossy hairs).

Danaus plexippus (Linnaeus, 1758), Monarch (Black-veined Brown, Common-tiger, Milkweed Butterfly, Wanderer); a butterfly with black, yellow, and white striped larvae; black, orange, and white or black and whitish adults with wingspreads up through 4 in; native from Southern Canada through Northern South America; introduced into Australia, Hawaii, New Zealand, and elsewhere;  larvae consume Asclepias spp., Calotropis gigantea, Calotropis procera, Cynanchum laeve, and Sarcostemma clausa all in the Apocynaceae; adults of some populations migrate to Mexico or some parts of the Conterminous U.S.; some bird, insect, and protozoan spp. consume different Monarch life stages.

Edd Barrows, February 22, 2020  (includes how to grow this plant)

© Glen Echo Heights Citizens' Association
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software