Wildlife Gardening/Taxon/Danaus plexippus

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Adult male

Danaus plexippus or the monarch butterfly is a large orange and black butterfly. Its primary habitat ranges from southern Canada to northern South America, but it also sometimes visits southern Pacific countries as well as Europe and northern Africa. Monarchs lay eggs only on milkweeds (genus Asclepias) and closely related plants. As the caterpillar feeds it accumulates toxins that make it repulsive to predators. Adults drink nectar from a wide variety of flowers, which they pollinate as they feed. With the onset of fall, monarchs undertake a long migration to Mexico and Florida, from which they will return in the spring. Monarch populations have steeply declined in recent years, making them a popular target species for conservation gardeners. It is the state butterfly of Vermont and West Virginia as well as the state insect of Alabama, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, and Texas.

Although they contains poisonous substances, monarchs pose little risk to people, pets, or desirable wildlife. Nevertheless, the presence of unwanted monarchs may be discouraged in a garden by encouraging predators like orioles, black-headed grosbeaks, jays, Asian lady beetles (Harmonia axyridis), and wasps, among others.

Nomenclature[edit]

The monarch was originally described by Linnaeus as Papilio plexippus in 1758. Later that century Jan Krzysztof Kluk transferred it to the new genus Danaus, where it now resides. Nevertheless, during the intervening centuries several other scientific names now of purely historical interest were used, including D. archippus, D. menippe, and Anosia plexippus.

The name "monarch" is believed to be given in honor of King William III of England, whose secondary title Prince of Orange makes a reference to the butterfly's main color.[1] Other common names depending on region include milkweed, common tiger, wanderer, and black veined brown.[2]

Description[edit]

Monarchs' wingspans range from 8.9 to 10.2 centimeters (3.5–4.0 in).[3] The uppersides of their wings are tawny orange, with black veins. The wing margins are also black, and contain two series of small white spots. Monarch forewings likewise posses a few orange spots near their tips. Wing undersides are similar to their upper surfaces, but the tips of the forewings and hindwings are yellow brown and the white spots are larger.[4] Monarch flight has been described as "slow and sailing".[5] Although they have six legs like all insects, monarchs are members of the Nymphalidae (brush-footed butterflies), and their first pair of legs are non-functional evolutionary relics held tight against their body.[6]

Gallery[edit]

Variation[edit]

See dedicated page: Variation


Adults are sexually dimorphic.[7]

The shape and color of the wings change at the beginning of the migration and appear redder and more elongated than later migrants.[8] Wings size and shape differ between migratory and non-migratory monarchs. Monarchs from eastern North America have larger and more angular forewings than those in the western population.[9]





Sexual dimorphism of monarchs
Female Male Description
Adult female.
Adult male.

Males are slightly larger than females[9][4] and have a black patch or spot of androconial scales on each hindwing. The male's black wing veins are lighter and narrower than those of females.[7]


Varieties of monarchs
Caterpillar Chrysalis Adult Description
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D. p. plexippus form nivosus, or the white monarch. Caterpillar pictured.

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D. p. plexippus form nivosus chrysalis.

White Monarch - Danaus plexippus nivosus, Herndon, Virginia - 20125189894.jpg

D. p. plexippus form nivosus adult.

Known informally as the "white monarch", but called nivosus by lepidopterists. It is grayish white in all areas of its wings that are normally orange and is only about 1% or less of all monarchs, but populations as high as 10% exist on Oahu in Hawaii. Also observed in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and the United States.[10]

Identification[edit]

See dedicated page: Identification

The monarch is closely related to several similar-looking butterfly species whose ranges abut or overlap with its own. It also has a Müllerian mimic, the viceroy, whose similar toxicity and coloration discourages predators from hunting either species.

Taxa similar to monarchs
Similar caterpillar Similar chrysalis Similar adult Distinctions
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Danaus cleophile, or Jamaican monarch. No compatibly-licensed caterpillar image is currently available.

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D. cleophile chrysalis. No compatibly-licensed chrysalis image is currently available.

Danaus cleophile.jpg

D. cleophile adult.

Brief note on connection between taxon and article taxon, caterpillar distinctions, chrysalis distinctions, adult distinctions.

Larva de mariposa monarca (Danaus erippus).jpg

Danaus erippus, or southern monarch. Caterpillar pictured.

Crisálida (Danaus erippus).jpg

D. erippus chrysalis.

Danaus erippus, male.jpg

D. erippus adult.

Brief note on connection between taxon and article taxon, caterpillar distinctions, chrysalis distinctions, adult distinctions.

Queen Caterpillar (36591905866).jpg

Danaus gilippus, or queen. Caterpillar pictured.

Queen Butterfly Chrysalis (28363632681).jpg

D. gilippus chrysalis.

Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus) (8137722605).jpg

D. gilippus adult.

Brief note on connection between taxon and article taxon, caterpillar distinctions, chrysalis distinctions, adult distinctions.

Viceroy caterpillar - Limenitis archippus, Jones Preserve, Washington, Virginia - 26822355751.jpg

Limenitis archippus, or viceroy. Caterpillar pictured.

Limenitis archippus pupa.jpg

L. archippus chrysalis.

Florida Viceroy (4786514317).jpg

L. archippus adult.

Brief note on connection between taxon and article taxon, caterpillar distinctions, chrysalis distinctions, adult distinctions.

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Speyeria coronis, or coronis fritillary. Caterpillar pictured.

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S. coronis chrysalis.

Coronis Fritillary - Speyeria coronis, Great Basin National Park, Baker, Nevada.jpg

S. coronis adult.

Brief note on connection between taxon and article taxon, caterpillar distinctions, chrysalis distinctions, adult distinctions.

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Speyeria cybele, or great spangled fritillary. Caterpillar pictured.

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S. cybele chrysalis.

Great Spangled Fritillary, Gatineau Park.jpg

S. cybele adult.

Brief note on connection between taxon and article taxon, caterpillar distinctions, chrysalis distinctions, adult distinctions.

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Speyeria idalia, or regal fritillary. Caterpillar pictured.

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S. idalia chrysalis.

Speyeria idalia1.jpg

S. idalia adult.

Brief note on connection between taxon and article taxon, caterpillar distinctions, chrysalis distinctions, adult distinctions.

Encourage[edit]

Monarchs obtain moisture and minerals from damp soil and wet gravel, a behavior known as mud-puddling. The monarch has also been noticed puddling at an oil stain on pavement.[11]

Benefactor herbs[edit]

Benefactor herbs for monarchs
Taxon Behavior Food Reproduction Safety Water Notes
Apocynum cannabinum 6801.JPG

Apocynum cannabinum, or Indian hemp. Flower and leaves pictured.

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Nectar source.[11] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.



Apocynum cannabinum grows in open wooded areas, ditches, and hillsides. It is found in gravelly or sandy soil, mainly near streams in shady or moist places.[12]


It flowers from July to August, has large sepals, and a five-lobed white corolla.[12]

Asclepias amplexicaulis Blue Ridge.jpg

Asclepias amplexicaulis, or clasping milkweed. Flower pictured.

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Caterpillar host plant.[citation needed] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

It is endemic to the United States, where it is mostly found east of the Great Plains.[13]

It grows in dry prairies, savannas, open woods, and fallow fields, usually in sandy soil.[14][15][16]

It grows Template:Cvt high and produces flowers in the summer.[15]

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Asclepias angustifolia, or Arizona milkweed.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Asclepias asperula 2.jpg

Asclepias asperula, the antelope horns. Flower pictured.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

native to the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico.[citation needed]

In cultivation, this species favors quickly-draining soil that is higher in inorganic matter, such as sand and rock chips. It can grow in loam and clay, if provided with adequate drainage and frequent-enough dryness.[18] Moisture level demands and tolerance depend upon the subspecies and possibly ecotype. The plant has a deep taproot.[18]

Asclepias sp. (Marshal Hedin).jpg

Asclepias californica, or California milkweed.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Asclepias californica is native to California and northern Baja California.[citation needed]


Asclepias cordifolia.JPG

Asclepias cordifolia, or heart-leaf milkeweed. Flowers pictured.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

It is native to the western United States (California, Nevada, Oregon), growing between 50 to 2,000 m (160 to 6,600 ft) elevation in the northern Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges.[citation needed]

Heart-leaf milkweed is a perennial that grows to a height of 0.3 to 0.6 m (1.0 to 2 ft), with dark red-purple flowers.[19]

The plant grows in open or shaded woodland, often on rocky slopes and in mixed coniferous forest.[20]

It blooms from May to July.[20]

Asclepias curassavica (Mexican Butterfly Weed) W IMG 1573.jpg

Asclepias curassavica, the scarlet milkweed. Flowers and leaves pictured.

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Year-round plantings in the USA are controversial and criticised, as they may be the cause of new overwintering sites along the U.S. Gulf Coast, leading to year-round breeding of monarchs.[21] This is thought to adversely affect migration patterns, and to cause a dramatic buildup of the dangerous parasite, Ophryocystis elektroscirrha.[22]. New research also has shown that monarch larvae reared on tropical milkweed show reduced migratory development (reproductive diapause), and when migratory adults are exposed to tropical milkweed, it stimulates reproductive tissue growth - https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/10/8/253/htm Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Curtiss milkweed (Asclepias curtissii) (6023865184).jpg

Asclepias curtissii, the Curtiss' milkweed. Flower pictured.

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Caterpillar host plant.[citation needed] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

endemic to Florida's sandy areas.[citation needed] reaching up to 2–4 feet tall.[citation needed] bright white when they bloom.[citation needed] Although Asclepias curtissii isn't usually associated with monarch butterflies as a food source, monarchs can feed off of it and will if the need arises.[citation needed]

Curtiss's milkweed lives in the excessively drained parts of Florida.[citation needed]

Curtiss's milkweed has a very high tolerance for soil disturbance, often being found along the edges of fire lanes and sand roads.[citation needed]

H20140611-2884—Asclepias eriocarpa—RPBG (14445162271).jpg

Asclepias eriocarpa, the woollypod Milkweed. Flowers and leaves pictured.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Asclepias eriocarpa is native to California and adjacent parts of Nevada and Baja California, where it grows in many habitat types, especially dry areas.

It is one of the most poisonous milkweeds.

Each flower is white to cream and usually tinted with bright pink.


Asclepias erosa 2.jpg

Asclepias erosa, the desert milkweed. Flowers pictured.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

It is native to southern California, Arizona, and northern Baja California, where it is most abundant in the desert regions.

yellowish or cream-colored flowers.


Asclepias exaltata 1.jpg

Asclepias exaltata, the poke milkweed. Flower pictured.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17][23] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

It blooms from late spring to early summer. The flowers are green and white.[citation needed]

Poke milkweed is found in moist woodland habitats. It grows in moist soil and sunny or partly shaded places. It grows from 0.6 to 1.5 meters (2.0 to 4.9 ft) tall.[24]

Asclepias fascicularis flowers 2003-06-05.jpg

Asclepias fascicularis, the narrow-leaf Milkweed. Flower pictured close-up.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

The plant is a common perennial in the Western United States and Baja California.[25] It is found in numerous habitats, including deserts, chaparral and woodlands, and montane locales below 7,000 feet (2,100 m).[26] It blooms in clusters of lavender, pale pink, purple, white, to greenish shades of flowers.[26]

However, it provides around zero cardenolide content, a set of protective chemicals that reduce the virulence of the OE parasite and bird predation.

drought tolerant gardens and natural landscaping projects.[26]

Asclepias humistrata.jpg

Asclepias humistrata, the sandhill milkweed. Flower pictured.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

It blooms in spring and summer. The flowers are pink lavender and white.[27] It is found in well-drained areas such as sandy woodlands, sandy hills, and Florida scrub. Sandhill milkweed likes dry soil and sunny places. It grows from 0.3 to 0.9 meter (0.98 to 3.0 ft) tall.[24]

Badlands Flowers- Red, Pink, Blue (053d2c4b-2068-460d-b71b-b3cd8c1a39bb).jpg

Asclepias incarnata, the swamp milkweed. Flower pictured.

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Preferred caterpillar host plant.[23] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

It grows in damp to wet soils and also is cultivated as a garden plant for its flowers, which attract butterflies and other pollinators with nectar.

Swamp milkweed is an upright, Template:Cvt tall plant,[28]

The plants bloom in early to mid-summer, producing small, fragrant, pink to mauve (sometimes white) colored flowers in rounded umbels. The flower color may vary from darker shades of purple to soft, pinkish purple and a white flowering form exists as well.

[29]

Swamp milkweed prefers moisture retentive to damp soils in full sun to partial shade and is typically found growing wild near the edges of ponds, lakes, streams, and low areas—or along ditches.[30] It is one of the best attractors of the monarch butterfly, which feeds on the flowers and lays her eggs on the plants.



Asclepias nivea Curassavica 2zz.jpg

Asclepias nivea, the Caribbean milkweed. Flowers pictured.

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Caterpillar host plant.[31] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

It is native to Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands.

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Asclepias oenotheroides, or zizotes milkweed.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

It is native to the south-western United States and Central America.[32][33]

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Asclepias perennis, or aquatic milkweed.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.



Asclepias physocarpa2.jpg

Asclepias physocarpa, the Swan Plant. Seed pods and leaves pictured. check name

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Caterpillar host plant.[citation needed] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

check name

The plant is native to southeast Africa, but it has been widely naturalized.


Gomphocarpus physocarpus is an undershrub perennial herb, that can grow to over six feet. The plant blooms in warm months. It grows on roadside banks, at elevations of 2800 to 5000 feet above sea level. The plant prefers moderate moisture, as well as sandy and well-drained soil and full sun.

Purple Milkweed Asclepias purpurascens Flower Heads Wide 2300px.jpg

Asclepias purpurascens, the purple milkweed. Buds and flowers pictured.

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Caterpillar host plant.[citation needed] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

It is native to the Eastern, Southern and Midwestern United States

he plant gets its name from the flowers that first develop a pink color but then turn darker purple as they mature. Unlike common milkweed, purple milkweed prefers some shade and is considered a plant of partial shade. It is also considered an indicator of oak savanna, especially in Wisconsin.[34]


It is listed endangered in Massachusetts and Wisconsin, as historical to Rhode Island, and as a special concern species in Connecticut[35] and Tennessee.[36]


Asclepias quadrifolia 001.jpg

Asclepias quadrifolia, the fourleaf milkweed or whorled milkweed. Flower pictured.

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Caterpillar host plant.[23] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

The plant occurs in the eastern United States and Canada.

The plant is small and slender compared to other milkweeds at only 45 cm tall.[37]

Pale pink to white flowers are borne in rounded, usually pendulous clusters from the leaf axils and terminus. The fruit is a follicle or pod which is very slender, 3.2 to 5.6 inches long, 1/4 to 1/3 thick, lacking tubercles, minutely hairy to glabrous; seeds broadly oval, to 1/3 inch long, tufted with white to tan hairs at tips.[38]

Unlike more commonly known species such as common milkweed or butterflyweed, fourleaf milkweed is a woodland denizen. It usually occurs in dry, rocky open forest. It is frequently found on upland slopes.[39]


Asclepias speciosa (5257741323).jpg

Asclepias speciosa, the showy milkweed.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

and is found in the Western half of North America.

pale pink through pinkish-purple flowers

This species flowers from May through September.[40]


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Asclepias subulata, or rush milkweed.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

This is an erect perennial herb which loses its leaves early in the season and stands as a cluster of naked stalks. Atop the stems are inflorescences of distinctive cream-white flowers. The fruit is pouchlike and contains many flat, oval seeds with long, silky hairlike plumes. This milkweed is native to the desert southwest of the United States and northern Mexico.


Asclepias subverticillata kz05.jpg

Asclepias subverticillata, the horsetail milkweed.

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Caterpillar host plant.[citation needed] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Asclepias subverticillata is indigenous to New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah and parts of some nearby states[41].

Asclepias syriaca - Common Milkweed.jpg

Asclepias syriaca, the common milkweed. Flowers pictured.

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Preferred caterpillar host plant.[23] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Common milkweed is a clonal perennial herb growing up to 2.6 m (8.5 ft) tall.


The highly fragrant, nectariferous flowers vary from white (rarely) through pinkish and purplish and occur in umbellate cymes.[42][43]

This plant can become invasive; it is naturalized in several areas outside of its native range, including Oregon and parts of Europe.

Plant A. syriaca or its seeds in a sunny location with good drainage and moist soil. The species spreads by both cloning from rhizomes and by sprouting from seeds. Plants start to spread by both methods within a few years.

Female monarchs frequently lay their eggs on small, tender shoots, and larvae favor such shoots as food. As monarch reproduction peaks in late summer when A. syriaca leaves are usually old and tough, cut back the plants in June - August to assure that they will produce new shoots at that time. Retain some mature plants that will later distribute their seeds and whose leaves will feed rhizomes that will produce next year's shoots.

This species is native to southern Canada and of much of the conterminous eastern U.S., east of the Rocky Mountains, excluding the drier parts of the prairies. It grows in sandy soils and other kinds of soils in sunny areas.

Asclepias tuberosa-roadside.jpg

Asclepias tuberosa, the butterfly milkweed.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17][23] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

It is not a preferred host plant of the monarch butterfly but caterpillars can be reared on it successfully. However, it is one of the very lowest Asclepias species in cardenolide content, making it a poor source of protection from bird predation and parasite virulence.

It is a perennial plant growing to 0.3–1 meter (Template:Convert/ftin) tall, with clustered orange or yellow flowers from early summer to early autumn.

This plant favors dry, sand or gravel soil, but has also been reported on stream margins. It requires full sun.

Most easily propagated by seed. Sown outdoors after frost, a plant will flower and produce seed in the third year. Difficult to transplant once established.[44][45]


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Asclepias variegata, or white milkweed.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

It is native to eastern North America, where it is found in Canada and the United States.[46] It is most common in the Southeastern United States, and becomes rare in the northern edge of its range.

Its natural habitat is forest openings and savannas, often in sandy soils.[47]


It produces small white flowers with purplish centers that area crowded into round, terminal clusters.[48] It flowers in early summer.[49]

It is endangered in the states of New York, and Pennsylvania.[50] It is listed as a special concern species and believed extirpated in Connecticut.[51]


Asclepias verticillata - Flickr - peganum.jpg

Asclepias verticillata, the whorled milkweed. Flower and leaves pictured.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

native to most all of eastern North America and parts of western Canada and the United States.[52]

This is a perennial herb with a single stem 6 inches to 3 feet tall. The very narrow, linear leaves are arranged in whorls of 4–6 with short internodes. The inflorescence is an umbel of 7–20 greenish white flowers.[53][26]

This species can reproduce vegetatively and does not depend on pollinators, but it does produce some nectar, mostly in the early evening hours. Insect visitors to the plant include wasps, honeybees, and lepidopterans such as moths and the cabbage white.[54]

The plant is toxic to livestock.[26]

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Asclepias vestita, or wooly milkweed.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

It is endemic to California, where it grows in many habitats across the state, from mountains to desert to valley. This is a robust perennial herb growing mostly upright or slightly bending. The stem and leaves often have a coat of light-colored hairs, sometimes thick and woolly. The inflorescence is an umbel-shaped array to a spherical cluster of yellowish flowers. The flowers may be tinted with brown or purple. The fruit is a large yellowish follicle containing many silky-haired seeds.

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Asclepias viridis, or green antelopehorn milkweed.

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Caterpillar host plant.[17] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

It is native to the southcentral and southeastern United States.[55]

This milkweed is a perennial herb with alternately arranged leaves. The inflorescence is an umbel of white flowers with purplish centers.[56] Its root system is a taproot,[57] like that of butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa).

This species grows on many types of soil.[56]

This, like some other milkweed species, is a host plant for the monarch butterfly.[58]


Cirsium altissimum.jpg

Cirsium, or thistle. C. altissimum flowers pictured.

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Nectar source.[11] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

The species is native to the eastern and Central United States, with a range extending from Massachusetts west to North Dakota and south to Texas and the Florida Panhandle.[59]

Cirsium altissimum is, as the name implies, a tall herb, sometimes reaching as much as 400 cm (160 inches or 13 1/3 feet). It is a biennial or perennial, blooming only once before dying.

Sometimes there is only one flower head but more often more, with pink or purple (rarely white) disc florets but no ray florets. The species grows in prairies, open woodlands, and disturbed sites.[60]


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Daucus carota, or wild carrot. Flowers pictured.

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a white, flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native to temperate regions of Europe and southwest Asia, and naturalized to North America and Australia.

The wild carrot is a herbaceous, somewhat variable biennial plant that grows between 30 and 60 cm (1.0 and 2 ft) tall,

The flowers are small and dull white, clustered in flat, dense umbels. The umbels are approximately 3–4 inches (8–10 cm) wide.[61]

However, the states of Iowa, Ohio, Michigan and Washington have listed it as a noxious weed,[62]



Three Creeks - Papilio glaucus (female) on Echinacea purpurea 1.jpg

Echinacea, or coneflowers. E. purpurea flowers with an eastern tiger swallowtail pictured.

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The genus Echinacea has ten species, which are commonly called coneflowers. They are found only in eastern and central North America, where they grow in moist to dry prairies and open wooded areas. They have large, showy heads of composite flowers, blooming from early to late summer.

Atlas roslin pl Konyza kanadyjska 2138 6949.jpg

Erigeron canadensis, or horseweed. Flower pictured. check name

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Horseweed originated in North America and is very widespread there,[63] but has spread to inhabited areas of most of the temperate zone of Asia,[64] Europe,[65][66] and Australia.[67]


Eupatorium maculatum B.jpg

Eupatorium maculatum, or spotted Joe-Pye weed. Flower pictured. check name

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Eutrochium maculatum

is a North American species of flowering plants in the sunflower family. It is widespread through much of the United States and Canada.[68] It is the only species of the genus found west of the Great Plains.[69]

Eutrochium maculatum is a herbaceous perennial sometimes growing as high as 2 m (Template:Convert/ftin). Stems are sometimes completely purple, sometimes green with purple spots. One plant can produce numerous rose-purple flower heads in late summer, each head with 8-22 disc flowers but no ray flowers.[70]

Spotted Joe-Pye weed thrives in marshes, rich fens and swamps. Above all else the plant flourishes in the non-shaded environments that are also abundant in wetlands.[71][72]

Eupatorium perfoliatum 003.JPG

Eupatorium perfoliatum, or common boneset. Flower pictured.

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It is a common native to the Eastern United States and Canada, widespread from Nova Scotia to Florida, west as far as Texas, Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Manitoba.[73][74]

It is nearly always found in low, wet areas.

Eupatorium perfoliatum grows up to 100 cm (39 inches) tall, with leaves that clasp the stems. The plant produces dense clusters of tiny white flower heads held above the foliage.




Hesperis matronalis.JPG

Hesperis matronalis, or dame's rocket. Flower pictured.

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These plants are biennials or short-lived perennials, native to Eurasia and cultivated in many other areas of the world for their attractive, spring-blooming flowers. In some of those areas, it has escaped from cultivation and become a weed species.[75]

Hesperis matronalis grows 100 cm or taller, with multiple upright, hairy stems.

The plants have showy blooms in early to mid spring.

The plentiful, fragrant flowers are produced in large, showy, terminal racemes that can be 30+ cm tall and elongate as the flowers of the inflorescence bloom. When stems have both flowers and fruits, the weight sometimes causes the stems to bend. Each flower is large (2 cm across), with four petals. Flower coloration varies, with different shades of lavender and purple most common, but white, pink, and even some flowers with mixed colors exist in cultivated forms. A few different double-flowered varieties also exist.[76]

Hesperis matronalis has been a cultivated species for a long time, and grows best in full sun to partial shade where soils are moist with good drainage.[77] It is undemanding and self-seeds quickly, forming dense stands. Extensive monotypic stands of dame's rocket are visible from great distances; these dense collections of plants have the potential to crowd out native species when growing outside of cultivated areas.

Hesperis matronalis is propagated by seeds, but desirable individuals, including the double-flowering forms, are propagated from cuttings or division of the clumps.

  • IRELAND: An "escape" to be found in many areas of Ireland, including Belfast.[78] and other areas of Ireland.[79]
  • NORTH AMERICA: H. matronalis grows throughout most of the U.S. and Canada. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) website has a map showing states and provinces in which the plant has been found.Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag
Liatris spicata Purple.jpg

Liatris, or blazing star. L. spicata flower pictured.

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Medicago sativa Alfals006.jpg

Medicago sativa, or alfalfa. Flowers pictured.

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The plant grows to a height of up to 1 m (3.3 ft), and has a deep root system, sometimes growing to a depth of more than 15 m (49 ft) to reach groundwater. Typically the root system grows to a depth of 2–3 metres depending on subsoil constraints.[80] Owing to deep root system, it helps to improve soil nitrogen fertility and protect from soil erosion.[81]

Like other legumes, its root nodules contain bacteria, Sinorhizobium meliloti, with the ability to fix nitrogen, producing a high-protein feed regardless of available nitrogen in the soil.[82] Its nitrogen-fixing ability (which increases soil nitrogen) and its use as an animal feed greatly improve agricultural efficiency.[83][84]

Alfalfa can be sown in spring or fall, and does best on well-drained soils with a neutral pH of 6.8–7.5.[85][86] Alfalfa requires sustained levels of potassium and phosphorus to grow well.[87] It is moderately sensitive to salt levels in both the soil and irrigation water.[88][89][90] Soils low in fertility should be fertilized with manure or a chemical fertilizer, but correction of pH is particularly important.[91]

Alfalfa is considered an insectary, a place where insects are reared, and has been proposed as helpful to other crops, such as cotton, if the two are interplanted, because the alfalfa harbours predatory and parasitic insects that would protect the other crop.[92]


Dipsacus fullonum1.jpg

Dipsacus sylvestris, or teasel. check name

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Nectar source.[11] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

It is native to Eurasia and North Africa, but it is known in the Americas, southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand as an introduced species and often a noxious weed. It forms large monocultures (displacing other species) in areas it invades that have favorable climates and none of its biological control species.


It is a herbaceous biennial plant (rarely a short-lived perennial plant) growing to 1–2.5 meters (3.3–8.2 ft) tall.

The seeds are an important winter food resource for some birds, notably the European goldfinch. Teasels are often grown in gardens and encouraged on some nature reserves to attract them.[93]


Solidago virgaurea var. leiocarpa 02-2.jpg

Solidago, or goldenrod. S. virgaurea flower pictured.

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Solidago, commonly called goldenrods, is a genus of about 100[73] to 120[94] species of flowering plants in the aster family, Asteraceae. Most are herbaceous perennial species found in open areas such as meadows, prairies, and savannas. They are mostly native to North America, including Mexico; a few species are native to South America and Eurasia.[73] Some American species have also been introduced into Europe and other parts of the world.

Solidago species are perennials growing from woody caudices or rhizomes. Their stems range from decumbent (crawling) to ascending or erect, with a range of heights going from 5 cm (2.0 in) to over a meter.

The many goldenrod species can be difficult to distinguish, due to their similar bright, golden-yellow flower heads that bloom in late summer. Propagation is by wind-disseminated seeds or by spreading underground rhizomes which can form colonies of vegetative clones of a single plant. They are mostly short-day plants and bloom in late summer and early fall. Some species produce abundant nectar when moisture is plentiful, or when the weather is warm and sunny.


Tagetes erecta chendumalli chedi.jpg

Tagetes, the marigolds. T. davidii, the Mexican marigold pictured.

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Nectar source.[23] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Tagetes is a genus[95] of annual or perennial, mostly herbaceous plants in the sunflower family (Asteraceae).

The genus is native of south of Mexico, but some species have become naturalized around the world. One species, T. minuta, is considered a noxious invasive plant in some areas.[95]

Tagetes species vary in size from 0.1 to 2.2 m tall.

Blooms naturally occur in golden, orange, yellow, and white colors, often with maroon highlights. Floral heads are typically (1-) to 4–6 cm diameter, generally with both ray florets and disc florets. In horticulture, they tend to be planted as annuals, although the perennial species are gaining popularity. They have fibrous roots.

Depending on the species, Tagetes species grow well in almost any sort of soil. Most horticultural selections grow best in soil with good drainage, even though some cultivars are known to have good tolerance to drought.[96]

'Tagetes species are hence often used in companion planting for tomato, eggplant, chili pepper, tobacco, and potato. Due to antibacterial thiophenes exuded by the roots, Tagetes should not be planted near any legume crop.[97] Some of the perennial species are deer-, rabbit-, rodent- and javalina or peccary-resistant.[97]

Red Clover 2011 G2.jpg

Trifolium pratense, or red clover. Flower pictured.

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Trifolium pratense, the red clover,[98][99] is a herbaceous species of flowering plant in the bean family Fabaceae, native to Europe, Western Asia, and northwest Africa, but planted and naturalised in many other regions.

Red clover is a herbaceous, short-lived perennial plant, variable in size, growing to Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "–".Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "–".Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "–". (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "–".in) tall. It has a deep taproot which makes it tolerant to drought and gives it a good soil structuring effect.[100]

The red clover is native to Europe, Western Asia, and northwest Africa, but it has been naturalized in other continents, like North and South America.

It is widely grown as a fodder crop, valued for its nitrogen fixation, which increases soil fertility. For these reasons, it is used as a green manure crop.

Red clover's flowers and leaves are edible, and can be added as garnishes to any dish.[101] They can be ground into a flour.

The flowers often are used to make jelly and tisanes, and are used in essiac recipes. Their essential oil may be extracted and its unique scent used in aromatherapy.

Vernonia-gigantea.jpg

Vernonia altissima, or tall ironweed. Flower pictured. check name

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Vernonia gigantea (also known as giant ironweed,[102] tall ironweed[103] or ironweed[104]) is a species of perennial plant from family Asteraceae found in United States and Canada.[102] The plant is native to the eastern United States, north to New York state and Ontario, and southwest to Texas.[102]

They are described as 3–7 feet tall,[105] or 5-10 by 1–2 feet.[104]

The flowers bloom from July to September and are purple coloured. They can be found growing in moist soils by the roadsides, and are common in the meadows and open woodlands.[104]

The seeds are wind-dispersed. The plant is self-incompatible.[106]




Benefactor vines[edit]

Benefactor vines for monarchs
Taxon Behavior Food Reproduction Safety Water Notes
Cynanchum laeve NRCS-1.jpg

Cynanchum laeva, the sand vine. Flower pictured. check name

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Caterpillar host plant.[107] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Cynanchum laeve is a vining perennial herb native to eastern and central U.S. states and Ontario. Common names include sand vine, honeyvine, honeyvine milkweed, bluevine milkweed, climbing milkweed, and smooth swallow-wort.[108] The root system of C. laeve can cause it to be very difficult to eradicate, especially in agricultural fields.[109] It is a larval food of monarch butterflies[110] and milkweed tussock moth larvae.[111]C. laeve can cause eye irritation if touched and can stop your heart if consumed.[112] This can be especially problematic in livestock.[113]

Like bindweed and some other members of the Convolvulaceae, Cynanchum laeve is a twining vine with heart-shaped leaves and commonly found in roadsides, fence rows, fields, and disturbed areas. However, C. laeve is easily recognized as a member of the Apocynaceae by its opposite leaves,[114] milky sap, and distinctive flowers and follicles ("milkweed pods"). The seeds are wind dispersed and can travel long distances.

The root system is fleshy and brittle with a large taproot with other lateral roots, these roots can grow up through 6 feet deep. Developing stems are a light pink and produce a milky sap when broken.[109] Vase-shaped flowers have 5 white petals. These occur in clusters on short stalks.[109] C. laeve flowers from June through September.[109]

Cynanchum laeve occurs in the eastern and central United States and Ontario, Canada.[115] C. laeve can be found in wetland areas in the arid West, Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, Eastern mountain and Piedmont, the Great Plains, Midwest, and the North Central and North Eastern United States.[116][117][118] Cynanchum laeve typically lives disturbed habitats such as thickets, low moist fields, riverbanks, fence rows, and cultivated fields.[109]

Cynanchum laeve is not an human edible plant. Its sap can cause eye irritation damaging mucous membranes. If C. laeve is consumed it can stop your heart.[112]

The cardenolides in C. laeve is a large problem in livestock such as cattle, sheep, and goats. Hay fed to livestock can contain C. laeve which is a problem. It is recommended by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to take precautionary steps. These steps include not grazing hungry animals in pastures containing C. laeve, eradicating it from driveways and trails, and closely observing livestock that have just been introduced to areas containing C. laeve.[113] C. laeve can be very difficult to eradicate from fields because of its deep, extensive root system. This vine climbs on other plants, and this can cause problems in crop harvesting.[109]

White Twinevine Inflorescence (6174210155).jpg

Sarcostemma clausa, the white vine. Flower pictured.

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Caterpillar host plant.[119][120] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.



Funastrum clausum, commonly known as white twinevine,[121] is a species of flowering plant in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae. It is native to southern Florida and Texas in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America as far south as Paraguay.[122]



check name



Benefactor shrubs[edit]

Benefactor shrubs for monarchs
Taxon Behavior Food Reproduction Safety Water Notes
BuddlejaDavidiiStrauch.jpg

Buddleja, the butterfly bushes. B. davidii pictured.

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Buddleja, or Buddleia (Template:IPAc-en; also historically given as Buddlea), commonly known as the butterfly bush,[123] is a genus comprising over 140[124] species of flowering plants endemic to Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

Of the approximately 100 species nearly all are shrubs <5 m (16 ft) tall, but a few qualify as trees, the largest reaching 30 m (98 ft). Both evergreen and deciduous species occur, in tropical and temperate regions resp.

The colour of the flowers varies widely, from mostly pastel pinks and blues in Asia, to vibrant yellows and reds in the New World, while many cultivars have deeper tones. The flowers are generally rich in nectar and often strongly honey-scented.

The genus is found in four continents. Over 60 species are native through the New World from the southern United States south to Chile, while many other species are found in the Old World, in Africa, and parts of Asia, but all are absent as natives from Europe and Australasia.

Several species are popular garden plants, the species are commonly known as 'butterfly bushes' owing to their attractiveness to butterflies, and have become staples of the modern butterfly garden; they are also attractive to bees and moths.

The most popular cultivated species is Buddleja davidii from central China, named for the French Basque missionary and naturalist Père Armand David. Other common garden species include the aforementioned B. globosa, grown for its strongly honey-scented orange globular inflorescences, and the weeping Buddleja alternifolia. Several interspecific hybrids have been made, notably Buddleja 'Lochinch'
B. 'Lochinch']] (B. davidii × Buddleja fallowiana
B. fallowiana]]) and Buddleja × weyeriana
B. × weyeriana]] (B. globosa × B. davidii), the latter a cross between a South American and an Asiatic species.

Some species commonly escape from the garden. B. davidii in particular is a great coloniser of dry open ground; in urban areas in the United Kingdom, it often self-sows on waste ground or old masonry, where it grows into a dense thicket, and is listed as an invasive species in many areas.

Calotropis gigantea 3136.jpg

Calotropis gigantea, the crown flower. Flower and leaves pictured.

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Caterpillar host plant.[125] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.


Calotropis gigantea, the crown flower, is a species of Calotropis native to Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines,[citation needed] Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, China, Pakistan, Nepal, and tropical Africa.[126]

It is a large shrub growing to 4 m (13 ft) tall. It has clusters of waxy flowers that are either white or lavender in colour. Each flower consists of five pointed petals

The latex of Calotropis gigantea contains cardiac glycosides, fatty acids, and calcium oxalate.


This plant plays host to a variety of insects and butterflies. It is the host plant for Hawaii's non-migratory monarch butterflies.[127] Calotropis is an example of entomophily pollination (pollination by insects) and pollination is achieved with the help of bees.

Allelopathic effects of Calotropis on different agricultural crops have been well studied.[128] Extracts of plant parts such as root, stem, and leaf affect germination and seedling vigor of many agricultural crops.[129]Template:Full citation needed[130]Template:Full citation needed However, extracts of Calotropis failed to produce any detrimental effects on weeds such as Chenopodium album, Melilotus alba, Melilotus indica, Sphaeranthus indicus, and Phalaris minor.[131]Template:Full citation needed

Applied to the skin, it causes redness and vesication. When taken orally, the juice produces an acrid, bitter taste and burning pain in throat and stomach, salivation, stomatitis, vomiting, diarrhea, dilated pupils, tetanic convulsions, collapse and death. The fatal period is 6 to 12 hours.[citation needed]


Benefactor trees[edit]

Benefactor trees for monarchs
Taxon Behavior Food Reproduction Safety Water Notes
Israel Judean desert calotropis procera.jpg

Calotropis procera, the apple of Sodom.

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Caterpillar host plant.[citation needed] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.


The milky sap contains a complex mix of chemicals, some of which are steroidal heart poisons known as "cardiac aglycones". These belong to the same chemical family as similar ones found in foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea).[citation needed]

The plant contains steroidal components that are the cause of its toxicity.



Carya illinoinensis.jpg

Carya illinoiensis, or pecan.

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Overwintering roost.[132] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

The pecan Template:IPAc-en (Carya illinoinensis) is a species of hickory native to northern Mexico and the southern United States in the region of the Mississippi River.[52] The tree is cultivated for its seed in the southern United States, primarily in Georgia[133] and Texas,[134]

The pecan tree is a large deciduous tree, growing to 20–40 m (66–130 ft) in height, rarely to 44 m (144 ft).[73] It typically has a spread of 12–23 m (39–75 ft) with a trunk up to 2 m (6.6 ft) diameter. A 10-year-old sapling grown in optimal conditions will stand about 5 m (16 ft) tall. The leaves are alternate, 30–45 cm (12–18 in) long, and pinnate with 9–17 leaflets, each leaflet 5–12 cm (2.0–4.7 in) long and 2–6 cm (0.79–2.4 in) broad.[73]

The seeds of the pecan are edible, with a rich, buttery flavor. They can be eaten fresh or used in cooking, particularly in sweet desserts, such as pecan pie, a traditional Southern U.S. dish. Pecans are the major ingredient in praline candy.[135]


Rajhrad - Benediktinský klášter - akát.jpg

Fabaceae, the family including locust trees. Robinia pseudoacacia, or black locust, pictured.

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Overwintering roost.[132] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Westover Park (31060342845).jpg

Maclura pomifera, or Osage orange.

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Overwintering roost.[132] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Maclura pomifera, commonly known as the Osage orange, hedge, or hedge apple tree is a small deciduous tree or large shrub, typically growing to 8 to 15 meters (30–50 ft) tall. The distinctive fruit, from a multiple fruit family, is roughly spherical, bumpy, 3 to 6 inches (8–15 cm) in diameter, and turns bright yellow-green in the fall. The fruits secrete a sticky white latex when cut or damaged. Despite the name "Osage orange",[136]

Mature trees range from 40 to 65 feet (12–20 m) tall with short trunks and round-topped canopies.[136] The roots are thick, fleshy, and covered with bright orange bark. The tree's mature bark is dark, deeply furrowed and scaly. The plant has significant potential to invade unmanaged habitats.[136]


As a dioecious plant, the inconspicuous pistillate (female) and staminate (male) flowers are found on different trees.

The fruit has a cucumber-like flavor.[137]

Osage orange's pre-Columbian range was largely restricted to a small area in what is now the United States, namely the Red River drainage of Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas, as well as the Blackland Prairies and post oak savannas.[136] A disjunct population also occurred in the Chisos Mountains of Texas.[138] It has since become widely naturalized in the United States and Ontario, Canada.[136] Osage orange has been planted in all the 48 contiguous states of the United States and in southeastern Canada.[138]

The fruit is not poisonous to humans or livestock, but is not preferred by them[139] because it is mostly inedible due to a large size (about the diameter of a softball), and hard, dry texture.[137] The edible seeds of the fruit are used by squirrels as food. Large animals such as livestock, which typically would consume fruits and disperse seeds, mainly ignore the fruit.[137]

The fruits are consumed by black-tailed deer in Texas and fox squirrels in the Midwest, who drop them to crack open. Crossbills are said to peck the seeds out.[140]

Maclura pomifera prefers a deep and fertile soil, but is hardy over most of the contiguous United States, where it is used as a hedge. It must be regularly pruned to keep it in bounds, and the shoots of a single year will grow 3 to 6 feet (1–2 m) long, making it suitable for coppicing.[141][142] A neglected hedge will become fruit-bearing. It is remarkably free from insect predators and fungal diseases.[141] A thornless male cultivar of the species exists and is vegetatively reproduced for ornamental use.[138] M. pomifera is cultivated in Italy, former Yugoslavia, Romania, former USSR, and India.[143]

Morus rubra NRCS-1.png

Morus, or mulberry. M. rubra, the red mulberry, pictured.

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Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides) - Flickr - Jay Sturner (2).jpg

Populus, the genus including cottonwoods. P. deltoides, the eastern cottonwood, pictured.

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Overwintering roost.[132] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Morus rubra, commonly known as the red mulberry, is a species of mulberry native to eastern and central North America. It is found from Ontario, Minnesota, and Vermont south to southern Florida, and west as far as southeastern South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and central Texas. There have been reports of isolated populations (very likely naturalized) in New Mexico, Idaho, and British Columbia.[144]


Common in the United States, it is listed as an endangered species in Canada,[73][145] and is susceptible to hybridization with the invasive white mulberry (M. alba), introduced from Asia.[146]

Red mulberry is a deciduous tree, growing to Template:Cvt tall, rarely Template:Cvt, with a trunk up to Template:Cvt in diameter. It is a small to medium-sized[147] tree that reaches a height of 70 feet and lives up to 125 years.

The fruit is a compound cluster of several small achenes surrounded by a fleshy calyx, similar in appearance to a blackberry, Template:Cvt long. It is initially pale green, ripening to red or dark purple.[73] The berries are widely sought after by birds in spring and early summer in North America; as many as 31 species of birds have been recorded visiting a fruiting tree in Arkansas.[148]

The berries are edible and very sweet.[73]


Old Honey Mesquite (prosopis glandulosa).JPG

Prosopis, or the genus including mesquites. P. glandulosa, the honey mesquite, pictured.

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Overwintering roost.[132] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Prosopis is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae. It contains around 45 species of spiny trees and shrubs found in subtropical and tropical regions of the Americas, Africa, Western Asia, and South Asia. They often thrive in arid soil and are resistant to drought, on occasion developing extremely deep root systems. Their wood is usually hard, dense and durable. Their fruits are pods and may contain large amounts of sugar. The generic name means "burdock" in late Latin and originated in the Greek language.[149]

The species Prosopis pallida was introduced to Hawaii in 1828 and now dominates many of the drier coastal parts of the islands, where it is called the kiawe tree and is a prime source of monofloral honey production.[150]

In Australia, invasive Prosopis species are causing severe economic and environmental damage. With their thorns and many low branches, Prosopis shrubs form impenetrable thickets which prevent cattle from accessing watering holes, etc. They also take over pastoral grasslands and suck up scarce water. Prosopis species cause land erosion due to loss of grassland that are habitats for native plants and animals. Prosopis thickets also provide shelter for feral animals such as pigs and cats.[151]


Keeler Oak Tree - distance photo, May 2013.jpg

Quercus, or oak. Q. alba, the white oak, pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Beneficial for this purpose

Little to no effect

Overwintering roost.[132] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

The genus Quercus is native to the Northern Hemisphere, and includes deciduous and evergreen species extending from cool temperate to tropical latitudes in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and North Africa. North America contains the largest number of oak species, with approximately 90 occurring in the United States, while Mexico has 160 species of which 109 are endemic. The second greatest center of oak diversity is China, which contains approximately 100 species.[152]

Oaks have spirally arranged leaves, with lobate margins in many species; some have serrated leaves or entire leaves with smooth margins. Many deciduous species are marcescent, not dropping dead leaves until spring. In spring, a single oak tree produces both male flowers (in the form of catkins) and small female flowers.[153]

The fruit is a nut called an acorn or oak nut borne in a cup-like structure known as a cupule; each acorn contains one seed (rarely two or three) and takes 6–18 months to mature, depending on their species. The acorns and leaves contain tannic acid,[154]

Oaks are keystone species in a wide range of habitats from Mediterranean semi-desert to subtropical rainforest. For example, oak trees are important components of hardwood forests, and certain species are particularly known to grow in associations with members of the Ericaceae in oak–heath forests.[155][156]

The mature trees shed varying numbers of acorns annually. Scientists suggest that shedding excess numbers allows the oaks to satiate nut gathering species which improves the chances of germination. Every four to ten years, certain oak populations will synchronize to produce almost no acorns at all, only to rain them down excessively the following year, known as a "mast" year. The year preceding the mast year is thought to starve off the mammal populations feeding on the supply, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the overproduction in the mast year that follows.[157][158] This is necessary to the survival of any given oak species, as only one in 10,000 acorns results in an eventual tree.[159]

Brosen rhus typhina3.jpg

Rhus, or sumacs. R. typhina, the staghorn sumac, pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Beneficial for this purpose

Little to no effect

Overwintering roost.[132] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Rhus typhina, the staghorn sumac,[160] is a species of flowering plant in the family Anacardiaceae, native to eastern North America. It is primarily found in southeastern Canada, the northeastern and midwestern United States and the Appalachian Mountains,[161] but is widely cultivated as an ornamental throughout the temperate world.

Rhus typhina is a dioecious, deciduous shrub or small tree growing up to Template:Cvt tall by Template:Cvt broad. It has alternate, pinnately compound leaves Template:Cvt long, each with 9–31 serrate leaflets Template:Cvt long.[162]


Small, greenish-white through yellowish flowers occur in dense terminal panicles, and small, green through reddish drupes occur in dense infructescences. [162] Flowers occur from May through July and fruit ripens from June through September in this species’ native range.[163] Infructescences are Template:Cvt long and Template:Cvt broad at their bases. Fall foliage is brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow.[70] Fruit can remain on plants from late summer through spring. It is eaten by many birds in winter.[164]

Staghorn sumac spreads by seeds and rhizomes and forms clones often with the older shoots in the center and younger shoots around central older ones.[162] Large clones can grow from in several years.

Staghorn sumac is an ornamental plant which provides interest throughout the year; though its vigorous, suckering habit makes it unsuitable for smaller gardens. It can grow under a wide array of conditions, but is most often found in dry and poor soil on which other plants cannot survive.[162] Some landscapers remove all but the top branches to create a "crown" effect in order to resemble a small palm tree. Numerous cultivars have been developed for garden use, of which 'Dissecta' [[synonym (taxonomy)|syn. 'Laciniata' (cutleaf staghorn sumac) has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.[165][166]



Salix gooddingii.jpg

Salix, or willow. S. gooddingii, the Goodding's willow, pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Beneficial for this purpose

Little to no effect

Overwintering roost.[132] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Willows, also called sallows and osiers, form the genus Salix, around 400 species[167] of deciduous trees and shrubs, found primarily on moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Almost all willows take root very readily from cuttings or where broken branches lie on the ground.

Willows are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, such as the mourning cloak butterfly.[168] Ants, such as wood ants, are common on willows inhabited by aphids, coming to collect aphid honeydew, as sometimes do wasps.

The leaves are typically elongated, but may also be round to oval, frequently with serrated edges. Most species are deciduous; semievergreen willows with coriaceous leaves are rare, e.g. Salix micans and S. australior in the eastern Mediterranean. All the buds are lateral; no absolutely terminal bud is ever formed. The buds are covered by a single scale. Usually, the bud scale is fused into a cap-like shape, but in some species it wraps around and the edges overlap.[169]

The leaves are simple, feather-veined, and typically linear-lanceolate. Usually they are serrate, rounded at base, acute or acuminate.

In color, the leaves show a great variety of greens, ranging from yellowish to bluish color. Willows are among the earliest woody plants to leaf out in spring and the last to drop their leaves in autumn. Leafout may occur as early as February depending on the climate and is stimulated by air temperature. If daytime highs reach 55 °F (10 °C) for a few consecutive days, a willow will attempt to put out leaves and flowers. Leaf drop in autumn occurs when day length shortens to approximately ten hours and 25 minutes, which varies by latitude (as early as the first week of October for boreal species such as S. alaxensis and as late as the third week of December for willows growing in far southern areas).

Willows are dioecious, with male and female flowers appearing as catkins on separate plants; the catkins are produced early in the spring, often before the leaves.

Lilak pospolity Syringa vulgaris RB1.JPG

Syringa vulgaris, or lilac.

Little to no effect

Beneficial for this purpose

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Nectar source.[11] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Syringa vulgaris (lilac or common lilac) is a species of flowering plant in the olive family Oleaceae, native to the Balkan Peninsula, where it grows on rocky hills.[170][171][172] Grown for its scented pink flowers in spring, this large shrub or small tree is widely cultivated and has been naturalized in parts of Europe and North America. It is not regarded as an aggressive species, found in the wild in widely scattered sites, usually in the vicinity of past or present human habitations.[173][174][175]

Syringa vulgaris is a large deciduous shrub or multistemmed small tree, growing to 6–7 m (20–23 ft) high.

The lilac is a very popular ornamental plant in gardens and parks, because of its attractive, sweet-smelling flowers, which appear in early summer just before many of the roses and other summer flowers come into bloom.[70]

In late summer, lilacs can be attacked by powdery mildew, specifically Erysiphe syringae, one of the Erysiphaceae.[176] No fall color is seen and the seed clusters have no aesthetic appeal.

Common lilac tends to flower profusely in alternate years, a habit that can be improved by deadheading the flower clusters after the color has faded and before seeds, few of which are fertile, form. At the same time, twiggy growth on shoots that have flowered more than once or twice can be cut to a strong, outward-growing side shoot.

It is widely naturalised in western and northern Europe.[177]


Tilia americana, Arnold Arboretum - IMG 5911.JPG

Tilia americana, or basswood.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Beneficial for this purpose

Little to no effect

Overwintering roost.[132] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Tilia americana is a species of tree in the family Malvaceae, native to eastern North America, from southeast Manitoba east to New Brunswick, southwest to northeast Oklahoma, southeast to South Carolina, and west along the Niobrara River to Cherry County, Nebraska. It is the sole representative of its genus in the Western Hemisphere, assuming T. caroliniana is treated as a subspecies or local ecotype of T. americana.[178][52]

The American basswood is a medium-sized to large deciduous tree reaching a height of 18 to 37 m (59 to 121 ft) exceptionally 39 m (128 ft) with a trunk diameter of 1–1.5 m (3–5 ft) at maturity. It grows faster than many North American hardwoods, often twice the annual growth rate of American beech and many birch species. Life expectancy is around 200 years, with flowering and seeding generally occurring between 15 and 100 years, though occasionally seed production may start as early as 8 years.

The flowers are small, fragrant, yellowish-white, 10–14 mm (0.39–0.55 inch) in diameter, arranged in drooping, cymose clusters of 6–20 with a whitish-green leaf-like bract attached for half its length at the base of the cyme.

Time of flowering varies by several weeks depending on the latitude; early May in Canada and early June in the extreme southern extent. Leaf drop in fall occurs between early and late October depending on the latitude. The flowers are fragrant and insect-pollinated.

American basswood is dominant in the sugar maple–basswood forest association, which is most common in western Wisconsin and central Minnesota, but occurs as far east as New England and southern Quebec in places that have mesic soil with relatively high pH. It also has minor occurrence in many other forest cover types.

Its flowers provide abundant nectar for insects. The seeds are eaten by chipmunks, mice, and squirrels. Rabbits and voles eat the bark, sometimes girdling young trees. The leaves serve as food for caterpillars of various Lepidoptera (see Lepidoptera which feed on Tilia). The ribbed cocoon maker species Bucculatrix improvisa has not been found on other plants.

This species is particularly susceptible to adult Japanese beetles (an invasive species in North America) that feed on its leaves.[179]

The American basswood is known for being one of the most difficult native North American trees to propagate from seed, as they not only have a low viability rate (approximately 30% of all seeds are viable), but quickly develop an extremely hard seed coating that may delay germination for up to two years. If planting them, it is recommended to gather the seeds in early autumn and sow them before they dry out and form a coating. This will then allow germination to occur immediately. Overall, seeds are not a major part of the tree's reproductive strategy and it instead mostly spreads by self-coppicing. All juvenile basswoods coppice extremely readily, and even old trees will often sprout from the stump if cut.

The American basswood is recommended as an ornamental tree when the mass of foliage or a deep shade is desired; no native tree surpasses it in this respect. It is often planted on the windward side of an orchard as a protection to young and delicate trees.[141] It is cultivated at least as far north as Juneau, Alaska.[180]

The foliage and flowers are both edible, though the tender young leaves are more palatable.

Elm Tree in West Hartford, Connecticut - May 2017.jpg

Ulmus, or elms. U. americana, the American elm, pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Beneficial for this purpose

Little to no effect

Overwintering roost.[132] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the flowering plant genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae.

The genus is hermaphroditic, having apetalous perfect flowers which are wind-pollinated. Elm leaves are alternate, with simple, single- or, most commonly, doubly serrate margins, usually asymmetric at the base and acuminate at the apex. The fruit is a round wind-dispersed samara flushed with chlorophyll, facilitating photosynthesis before the leaves emerge.[181] The samarae are very light, those of British elms numbering around 50,000 to the pound (454 g).[182] All species are tolerant of a wide range of soils and pH levels but, with few exceptions, demand good drainage. The elm tree can grow to great height, often with a forked trunk creating a vase profile.



[183]

Discourage[edit]

Antagonist arthropod taxa[edit]

Antagonist arthropods of monarchs
Taxon Behavior Food Reproduction Safety Water Notes
Harmonia axyridis01.jpg

Harmonia axyridis, the Asian ladybeetle. Color variations pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

The Asian ladybeetle will eat very young caterpillars as both larvae and adults.[184] Information on native range or any other factor that might influence monarchs' likelihood of attracting this species to a garden.

Vespula maculifrons. Queen Anne's lace.jpg

Hymenoptera, the order including wasps. Vespula maculifrons, or the eastern yellowjacket pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

A variety of wasps will prey upon caterpillars.[185] Information on native range or any other factor that might influence monarchs' likelihood of attracting this species to a garden.

Tenodera sinensis 5 Luc Viatour.jpg

Tenodera sinensis, the Chinese mantis. Male pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

Preys upon caterpillars and avoids being poisoned by not eating its prey's digestive tract and the processed milkweed material it contains.[186] Information on native range or any other factor that might influence monarchs' likelihood of attracting this species to a garden.

Antagonist bird taxa[edit]

Antagonist birds of monarchs
Taxon Behavior Food Reproduction Safety Water Notes
WesternScrubJay2.jpg

Aphelocoma, the scrub jay genus. A. californica, or the California scub jay pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

One of the few bird genera known to feed on monarchs despite the toxins they accumulate from their milkweed host plants.[187]Information on native range or any other factor that might influence monarchs' likelihood of attracting this species to a garden.

Cardinalis cardinalis in Cercis canadensis.jpg

Cardinalidae, the cardinal family. Male Cardinalis cardinalis, or northern cardinal pictured feeding a female.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

One of the few bird families known to feed on monarchs despite the toxins they accumulate from their milkweed host plants.[187]Information on native range or any other factor that might influence monarchs' likelihood of attracting this species to a garden.

Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus1.jpg

Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus, the pinyon jay.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

One of the few birds known to feed on monarchs despite the toxins they accumulate from their milkweed host plants.[187]Information on native range or any other factor that might influence monarchs' likelihood of attracting this species to a garden.

Quiscalus-quiscula-001.jpg

Icteridae, the family which includes grackles. Quiscalus quiscula, or the common grackle pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

One of the few bird families known to feed on monarchs despite the toxins they accumulate from their milkweed host plants.[187]Information on native range or any other factor that might influence monarchs' likelihood of attracting this species to a garden.

Baltimore Oriole.jpg

Icterus, the New World oreole genus. I. galbula, or the Baltimore oreole pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Slightly detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

Feeding on too many monarchs can raise the poison levels in its own tissues. Until the oreole recovers, it must rely on other prey items, whose toxicity it can discern by taste.[188] Information on native range or any other factor that might influence monarchs' likelihood of attracting this species to a garden.

House Sparrow mar08.jpg

Passeridae, the Old World sparrow family. Male Passer domesticus, or house sparrow pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

One of the few bird families known to feed on monarchs despite the toxins they accumulate from their milkweed host plants.[187]Information on native range or any other factor that might influence monarchs' likelihood of attracting this species to a garden.

Pheucticus melanocephalus -California, USA-8.jpg

Pheucticus melanocephalus, the black-headed grosbeak. Male pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Slightly detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

Although resistant to the poisons in monarch tissues, it must periodically rely on other prey items to avoid accumulating dangerous levels in its own body.[188]Information on native range or any other factor that might influence monarchs' likelihood of attracting this species to a garden.

Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) feeding at Kapok (Ceiba pentandra) at Kolkata I IMG 2535.jpg

Pycnonotus cafer, the red-vented bulbul.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

Possibly at least partially immune to monarch poison. Eats both caterpillars and adults. Its preference for orange monarchs is partially responsible for breeding a white variety in Hawaii.[189]Information on native range or any other factor that might influence monarchs' likelihood of attracting this species to a garden.

Red-whiskered bulbul by Creepanta 11.jpg

Pycnonotus jocosus, the red-whiskered bulbul. Male pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

Possibly at least partially immune to monarch poison. Eats both caterpillars and adults. Its preference for orange monarchs is partially responsible for breeding a white variety in Hawaii.[189]Information on native range or any other factor that might influence monarchs' likelihood of attracting this species to a garden.

Toxostoma rufum -Garland, Texas, USA-8.jpg

Toxostoma rufum, the brown thrasher.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

One of the few birds known to feed on monarchs despite the toxins they accumulate from their milkweed host plants.[187]Information on native range or any other factor that might influence monarchs' likelihood of attracting this species to a garden.

Turdus-migratorius-002.jpg

Turdus migratorius, the American robin. Male pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

One of the few birds known to feed on monarchs despite the toxins they accumulate from their milkweed host plants.[187]Information on native range or any other factor that might influence monarchs' likelihood of attracting this species to a garden.

Antagonist mammal taxa[edit]

Antagonist mammals of monarchs
Taxon Behavior Food Reproduction Safety Water Notes
Мышь 2.jpg

Rodentia, the order including mice. Mus musculus, or the house mouse pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

Some mice will consume monarchs and seem to show significant resistance to their poison.[190][11] Information on native range or any other factor that might influence monarchs' likelihood of attracting this species to a garden.


Antagonist herbs[edit]

Antagonist vines for monarchs
Taxon Behavior Food Reproduction Safety Water Notes
Asclepias curassavica (Mexican Butterfly Weed) W IMG 1573.jpg

Asclepias curassavica, the scarlet milkweed. Flowers and leaves pictured.

Very detrimental for this purpose

Beneficial for this purpose

Beneficial for this purpose

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Year-round plantings in the USA are controversial and criticised, as they may be the cause of new overwintering sites along the U.S. Gulf Coast, leading to year-round breeding of monarchs.[191] This is thought to adversely affect migration patterns, and to cause a dramatic buildup of the dangerous parasite, Ophryocystis elektroscirrha.[192]. New research also has shown that monarch larvae reared on tropical milkweed show reduced migratory development (reproductive diapause), and when migratory adults are exposed to tropical milkweed, it stimulates reproductive tissue growth - https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/10/8/253/htm Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Antagonist vines[edit]

Antagonist vines for monarchs
Taxon Behavior Food Reproduction Safety Water Notes
Vincetoxicum nigrum02.jpg

Vincetoxicum nigrum, or black swallow-wort. Flowers pictured.

Little to no effect

Very detrimental for this purpose

Very detrimental for this purpose

Very detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

This plant is sufficiently closely related to vining milkweeeds to trick female monarchs into laying eggs on it, although it is toxic to monarch caterpillars. It is regarded as an invasive species in North America.[193] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Vincetoxicum rossicum 5452251.jpg

Vincetoxicum rossicum, the dog-strangling vine. Flowers pictured.

Little to no effect

Very detrimental for this purpose

Very detrimental for this purpose

Very detrimental for this purpose

Little to no effect

This plant is sufficiently closely related to vining milkweeeds to trick female monarchs into laying eggs on it, although it is toxic to monarch caterpillars. It is regarded as an invasive species in North America.[194] Information on native range, cultivation requirements, bloom time and any other criteria that might lead a gardener to select this species over the others.

Utilize[edit]

For taxa whose presence in the garden is enouraged without being harmed by article taxon use tables like above but from the pov of the attracted taxon

Beneficiary [taxon] of monarchs
Taxon Behavior Food Reproduction Safety Water Notes
Vincetoxicum nigrum02.jpg

Vincetoxicum nigrum, or black swallow-wort. Flowers pictured.

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Little to no effect

Information on native range, benefits received from presence of monarchs, etc.

References[edit]

  1. Adams, Jean Ruth (1992). Insect Potpourri: Adventures in Entomology. CRC Press. pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-1-877743-09-2. https://books.google.com/?id=KcqQ1rPZyRoC&pg=PA28. 
  2. Danaus plexippus, funet.fi
  3. Garber, Steven D. (1998). The Urban Naturalist. Courier Dover Publications. pp. 76–79. ISBN 978-0-486-40399-1. https://books.google.com/?id=3w_X0A_Kq0gC&pg=PA76. 
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  5. Klots, Alexander B. (1951). A Field Guide to the Butterflies of North America, East of the Great Plains (Tenth ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. pp. 78, 79. ISBN 978-0395078655. https://archive.org/details/fieldguidetobutt00alex. 
  6. Darby, Gene (1958). What is a Butterfly. Chicago: Benefic Press. p. 10. 
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  8. Satterfield, Dara A.; Davis, Andrew K. (April 2014). "Variation in wing characteristics of monarch butterflies during migration: Earlier migrants have redder and more elongated wings". Animal Migration 2 (1). doi:10.2478/ami-2014-0001. 
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  12. a b Template:PFAF
  13. Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named bonap
  14. Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named fotcr2017
  15. a b Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ct
  16. Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ks
  17. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Plant Milkweed for Monarchs". MONARCH JOINT VENTURE Partnering across the U.S. to conserve the monarch migration. Monarch Joint Venture. Archived from the original on 21 May 2015. https://web.archive.org/web/20150521014203/http://monarchjointventure.org/images/uploads/documents/MilkweedFactSheetFINAL.pdf. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
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  19. Jepson Manual
  20. a b Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Wiese
  21. Howard, Elizabeth; Aschen, Harlen; Davis, Andrew K. (2010). "Citizen Science Observations of Monarch Butterfly Overwintering in the Southern United States". Psyche: A Journal of Entomology 2010: 1. doi:10.1155/2010/689301. 
  22. Satterfield, D. A.; Maerz, J. C.; Altizer, S (2015). "Loss of migratory behaviour increases infection risk for a butterfly host". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282 (1801): 20141734. doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.1734. PMID 25589600. 
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  24. a b Cullina, W. (2000). Wildflowers: A Guide to Growing and Propagating Native Flowers of North America. The New England Wildflower Society. ISBN 0-395-96609-4.  Invalid <ref> tag; name "wc" defined multiple times with different content
  25. USDA
  26. a b c d e Template:NPIN
  27. Rufino Osorieo (2001). A Gardener's Guide to Florida's Native Plants. University Press of Florida. ISBN 0-8130-1852-8
  28. Dickinson, T.; Metsger, D.; Bull, J.; Dickinson, R. (2004). The ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum. p. 136. ISBN 0771076525. OCLC 54691765. 
  29. "Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)". Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. USGS. August 3, 2006. Archived from the original on 13 May 2009. https://web.archive.org/web/20090513043529/http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/plants/floramw/species/asclinca.htm. Retrieved March 30, 2009. 
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  32. "Asclepias oenotheroides Schltdl. & Cham. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:94504-1. 
  33. "Plants Profile for Asclepias oenotheroides (zizotes milkweed)". https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ASOE. 
  34. http://pleasantvalleyconservancy.org/pdf/Purple%20milkweed%20paper.pdf
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  36. "Plants Profile for Asclepias purpurascens (Purple milkweed)". https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=aspu2. 
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