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

Little birds for Little Rock
March 21, 2005 - I would like to plant flowers that hummingbirds and butterflies like. I live in Little Rock, Arkansas. What do you suggest?
view the full question and answer

Host plants for Painted Lady Butterflies (Vanessa cardui)
August 22, 2009 - I am looking for host plants for the Painted Lady Butterfly that I can plant in my school's (I am a teacher) native plant/butterfly garden. As part of the curriculum, each Fall our 2nd graders study ...
view the full question and answer

Host plant for butterflies in North Carolina
March 27, 2008 - What is the best host plant for butterflies in North Carolina?
view the full question and answer

Will hybrid Tecoma stans attract hummingbirds from Glendale AZ
July 07, 2012 - We bought a bells of fire plant; would like to know if hummingbirds like them?
view the full question and answer

Latin name for botany mist in McAllen TX
November 10, 2009 - What is the latin name or formal name of botany mist which is a Queen butterfly nectar source in the Rio Grande Valley?
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