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

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Monday - June 15, 2009

From: Naugatuck, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Native Asclepias spp. for Monarchs in Connecticut
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I live in Naugatuck Connecticut and I want to hatch my own monarch butterflies. I know that Monarchs like to hatch eggs on Milkweed plants. There are many types of milkweed plants on the internet. Can you send me a picture of the type of milkweed I need to look for in Naugatuck? And where's the best place to look for them? Near water, in the woods? I'd appreciate your help. Thanks.

ANSWER:

You can see the milkweeds, Asclepias spp. as well as 4 other species, recommended for monarchs on the MonarchWatch.org page for milkweeds. Here are the 9 species in our Native Plant Database occurring on that list that are native to Connecticut.  You can check the habitat for each under the DISTRIBUTION section for each plant in our Native Plant Database.

Asclepias amplexicaulis (clasping milkweed). Here are more photos and habitat information from Connecticut Wildflowers.

Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed).  Here are more photos and habitat information from Connecticut Wildflowers.

Asclepias purpurascens (purple milkweed).  Here are more photos and habitat information from Connecticut Wildflowers.

Asclepias quadrifolia (fourleaf milkweed).  Here are more photos and habitat information from Connecticut Wildflowers.

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed). Here are more photos and habitat information from Connecticut Wildflowers.

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed). Here are more photos and habitat information from Connecticut Wildflowers.

Asclepias variegata (redring milkweed)  

Asclepias verticillata (whorled milkweed).  Here are more photos and habitat information from Connecticut Wildflowers.

Asclepias viridiflora (green comet milkweed). Here are more photos and habitat information from Connecticut Wildflowers.

There are the other four species of plants listed by Monarch Watch:

Apocynum cannabinum (Indianhemp) and Cynanchum laeve (honeyvine) both occur in Connecticut.  See habitat information and more photos for Cynanchum laeve from MissouriPlants.com.  Funastrum cynanchoides ssp. cynanchoides (fringed twinevine), synonym for Sarcostemma cynanchoides, does not occur in Connecticut.  Calotropis procera (calotrope) is a non-native plant with its origins in Africa and Asia.

If you want to continue with your monarch butterfly project, you might consider planting and growing your own milkweed plants.  Monarch Watch also has instructions for Growing Milkweeds.


Asclepias amplexicaulis

Asclepias incarnata

Asclepias purpurascens

Asclepias quadrifolia

Asclepias syriaca

Asclepias tuberosa

Asclepias variegata

Asclepias verticillata

Asclepias viridiflora

Apocynum cannabinum

 

 

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