Monarch Butterfly on Cone Flower

Monarch butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh, PA

It’s June 15, 2011 in the Outdoor Gardens of Pittsburgh’s grand Phipps Conservatory. Tongues are wagging this year, lamenting the near total  absence of Danaus Plexxipus almost everywhere. Our female Monarch butterfly here reminds us that at any given time Monarchs are not being seen in large numbers. This situation further assures that these butterflies are in fact worthy of their given name, Monarchs. Phipps’ perennials beds offered up cone flowers, butterfly bushes, zinnias, day lilies, Asclepias, and much more. Even so there are usually 2 or 3 or 4 monarchs working  those extensive beds.

The reality remains, there are fewer of them this year. If the reports are accurate, even fewer were counted in their winter roosts in Mexico. Is it a cyclical population swing? Hmmm. Discussion of the use of genetically adjusted corn and other crops causing collateral damage to common milkweed may matter in the midwest, but how can that tilt the Monarch numbers in the northeastern United States?

So with fewer Monarchs flying where you live, invite your friends to visit and enjoy the Monarchs. Our address?  No need to knock,  just come right in.



5 thoughts on “Monarch Butterfly on Cone Flower

  1. I went looking for a name…I have always just collected the seeds each year, they came from my grandmothers farm many many years ago…I call them olde fashion because the seeds and plants on the market today are usually genetically altered…suppose to make the stronger ..and so on, but they seeds usually will not bloom true to the plant, and eventually like the Chrysanthemums that have be hybridized after 3-4 years( most of the time) they will revert back to the one of the ones they were crossed and/or altered with if they live that long…natives…naturalized plants keep on growing…
    yes all herbs attract butterflies, or at least they do here…I plant lots of curly parsley for the Monarchs, they love the whole plant, even the flowers that turn to seed…they will wipe it out though but they need it for their trip so they have their own section from mine, though they don’t seem to care whats mine LOLs…
    Sumac is a tree here…incredible colors in the Fall…bees and butterflies love the flowers on them in the Fall…you can goggle it and see it I have the evergreen Sumac and the fragrant one…really sweet smell sometimes too much
    I’m assuming they like roses, they are always on them…the more fragrant the better..I have one called olde European that blooms only in the Spring…
    it is covered with butterflies on the bright purple flowers, they also like Martha Gonzales, Belinda’s Dream, Chicago Peace, Iceberg…really it can be an heirloom, antique, tea rose…they rest in between the branches on windy days just like they do the grasses…
    I’m sorry I can’t think of the names on what I grow…I had made a list and cant find it…
    I grow gingers, and the mist flowers too.(.blue and white ones)
    i planted the ginger we eat and cook with today…I just buy the grocery store ones and plant in a 5 gallon( they grow fast) no sun…and they have a white bloom on them…butterflies and hummingbirds like them too…
    okay I have rambled on way too much!
    Take Care..Have a Wonderful week ahead!


  2. I have had more than usual..but I grow natives ..heirloom plants…
    this is a beautiful photo…
    Take Care…


    • Maryrose,
      I am very pleased that you come and have a look. Good.
      Mind sharing which native heirloom plants are your most successful butterfly magnets…and what part of the country…..?


      • San Antonio Texas (107 today and still I had butterflies)
        they love scabiosia, the purple and yellow was all that I grew this year…the love olde fashion Zinnia’s, caldwell pink rose, I grow mallow hibiscus, they love the grass, especially sea oats and lemon
        grass…flame acanthus, esperonza (that is not how to spell it I think.).I also grow what they call yellow bells but the cross of it with the one from the Carribean doesn’t always come back even in our winters…they love the English thyme, and lemon balm and lemon verbena…my parsley is going to see and they stay with it alot, gosh, I will have to think about it …oh I grow a Thryalis, its naturalized here…Vitex trees and Sesbania (not sure of that spelling either) I grow a varity of Bauhinias and Autumn clemmatis…I also have a native one, that I don’t know the name, it is a small off white flower and has a strong honey scent( also a bauhina vine)
        the sumac are starting to bloom so they go crazy for them…other grasses and milkweed, I have a native low growing one that only Monarchs go to..I’ll have to look up the name…
        I am drawing a blank now LOLs…several of my roses are always being visited in the morning…
        these are all magnetsI only grow the purple coneflower..they hybrids have no nutrients for them, and most of the herbs always attract…especially Rosemary …


        • Maryrose:
          Glad you are so generous with sharing what lots of people want to know more about. Can you offer more with: What exact zinnia is olde fashioned zinnia? Do the thyme, lemon balm & lemon verbena attract? What is the sumac? Sumac is not known to me? Do the b-flies actually nectar at your roses?? Which?
          Thanks Maryrose….


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