Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monarch Madness


Liatris ligulistylis is a plant that no sunny garden should be without. Not only are the long purple wands of flowers attractive, but they are irresistable to monarch butterflies. Supposedly there is some kind of pheromone that this species makes that makes the monarchs so eager to visit. They linger, fly away, then quickly return, and seem to have great difficulty making a final departure. I like the fact that my school garden offers food to these hardy migrants, not only from the liatris flowers, but also from milkweed foliage for their caterpillars (I do check to make sure the various Asclepias species are not overwhelmed, and thus far there has not been a problem--the hideous bright orange milkweed aphids are more of an issue at times). Butterfly bushes (Buddleia davidii cvs) also are favored by the monarchs and many other butterflies in the school garden.

3 comments:

Perry said...
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Perry said...

Respectfully request permission to use Liatris ligulistylus photo in an eNews publication.

Perry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.