En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - May 04, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Butterfly Gardens, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Early nectar blooms for Monarch butterflies from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Could you tell me any early spring blooming nectar plants that monarchs will nectar from. I'm specifically looking for bloom times in March and early April. I have plenty of May blooms but not so many early spring blooms.

ANSWER:

Apparently nectar plants are not the only critical plants in the Monarch Butterfly migration patterns through Central Texas. From the Austin newspaper, the Statesman, here is an article on planting milkweed: With buttterfly sightings down, Texans plant milkweed. We also question whether the Monarchs have gotten to Central Texas by March, but didn't find any definitive information on that. See this article from Visit Wimberley The Amazing Monarch by Dorey Schmidt. See also these articles from The Texas Butterfly Ranch, and Monarch Butterfly Journey North News.

By searching on our Recommended Species page, we went to this list of Recommended Species for Butterflies and Moths. Using the selection list on the left-hand side of that page, we selected on Texas for STATE, "herb (herbaceous blooming plant) for HABIT and March for BLOOM TIME.  This yielded a list of 13 plants, from which we removed those not native to Central Texas, and want to point out the Asclepias asperula (Spider milkweed) is not a nectar plant but a nursery plant for the caterpillars. The other three you should follow the plant links to our webpage on each to see if they fulfill your requirements.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Castilleja indivisa (Entireleaf indian paintbrush)

Callirhoe involucrata var. lineariloba (Poppy mallow)

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern red columbine
Aquilegia canadensis

Spider milkweed
Asclepias asperula

Entireleaf indian paintbrush
Castilleja indivisa

Poppy mallow
Callirhoe involucrata var. lineariloba

More Butterfly Gardens Questions

Landscaping from Wilmington NC
December 22, 2012 - I plan on moving to Belmont NC in the next couple of years and settling down with my future wife in her home town. I am a huge do it yourself person. I love to make things from scratch, including buil...
view the full question and answer

Will recycled tire mulch harm butterfly larvae?
December 05, 2012 - I discovered orange butterfly larva in the hardwood mulch under my Turk's Cap. Will it harm the larva if I switch over to recycled tire mulch?
view the full question and answer

Purple Passionflower as a native in Charlottesville VA
September 18, 2013 - Is it possible to grow purple passion flower as a perennial in zone 7? I am looking for hummers and butterflies to be attracted by the plant. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Plants for Daisy Girl Scout native plants project
December 13, 2013 - Hello, I am a daisy Girl Scout leader and we are working on one of our Journeys and Native Plants Patch Program which requires our group of 5-6 year old girls to plant and care for a mini-garden. ...
view the full question and answer

Growing butterfly weed as a girl scout project
July 30, 2012 - We have a group of girl scouts who want to sell 'crafts' at a farmers market. I am wanting to steer the moms and girls in a different direction. I was wondering if you think that butterfly weed woul...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center