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 - April 19, 2009

From: Berrien Springs, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Plants for Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) butterflies in Michigan
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am wanting to raise Painted Lady butterflies and release them into my garden. I know that they like to eat Mallow plants, but I was wondering what kind of Mallow plant would be best for my garden?

ANSWER:

Vanessa cardui (Painted Lady) butterflies have certainly been recorded in Berrien County, Michigan and it sounds like a fun thing to do to raise and release them in your garden.  You have lots of choices, including mallows, for both larval and adult Painted Ladies. The Painted Lady is also known as the Thistle Butterfly because of its preferences for those plants.

LARVAE

Any of the thistles native to Michigan, including:

Cirsium discolor (field thistle), Cirsium muticum (swamp thistle) and Cirsium undulatum (wavyleaf thistle).

Here are some attractive mallows native to Michigan for your garden:

Hibiscus laevis (halberdleaf rosemallow)

Hibiscus moscheutos (crimsoneyed rosemallow)

Callirhoe involucrata (purple poppymallow)

Other plants for larvae:

Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)

Helianthus annuus (common sunflower)

Vernonia gigantea (giant ironweed)

ADULTS

Liatris aspera (tall blazing star)

Vernonia gigantea (giant ironweed) 

Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Eupatoriadelphus fistulosus (trumpetweed)

Eupatoriadelphus maculatus (spotted trumpetweed)

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush)

You should realize that the plants listed above also attract other butterflies so you should have a garden filled with beauty.


Cirsium discolor

Cirsium muticum

Cirsium undulatum

Hibiscus laevis

Hibiscus moscheutos

Callirhoe involucrata

Achillea millefolium

Lupinus perennis

Helianthus annuus

Vernonia gigantea

Liatris aspera

Asclepias incarnata

Asclepias tuberosa

Eupatoriadelphus fistulosus

Eupatoriadelphus maculatus

Cephalanthus occidentalis

 

 

 

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Understory plants for creek side in Austin
September 22, 2008 - We live along Shoal Creek in central Austin and would like to establish a natural balance of vegetation along the creek. We currently have a high tree canopy made up of native Cedar Elms. What would...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen plant with berries for wildlife
September 16, 2007 - We live in central Texas and I am attempting to plant for wildlife. Could you suggest an evergreen, approximately 3-4 feet tall, that would have berries for the birds in the Fall and winter? The pla...
view the full question and answer

Bird-friendly plants for the Texas coast
July 13, 2012 - I'm interested in starting a native plant garden, specifically with an eye towards providing food (either from the plants or insects that are attracted to the plants) for migratory birds. However, s...
view the full question and answer

Non-toxic plants for dog yard from Freeport PA
June 24, 2012 - I'm looking for wildlife-friendly native plants that aren't toxic to dogs. I have a place for some small shrubs and/or flowers. And a climbing vine that I could train on a trellis would work espec...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for condo apartments in New York
October 14, 2005 - Hello, and thank you for this wonderful source of help! We live in Hastings on Hudson, NY in a brick building of 7 condo apartments. Our corner unit has one narrow flower bed out front on the stre...
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