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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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Thursday - July 14, 2005

From: Wilmington, DE
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Host plants to monarch butterflies in Starr County, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I plant native larval and nectar plants that support the life cycle of the monarch butterfly here in the east; but, where can I find a list of native plants for my friends in the Tamaulipan Biotic Province - Rio Grande,TX - who would also like to plant natives for monarchs?

ANSWER:

Plants in the Family Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed Family) are host plants for the monarch butterfly. Here is a list of members of that family that are native to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. I have noted whether they have been identified in Starr County (where the city of Rio Grande is) or in an adjacent or nearby county.

1. Hierbas de Zizotes (Asclepias oenotheroides). Starr County.
2. Slim milkweed (A. linearis). Adjacent county.
3. Emory's milkweed (A. emoryi). No photograph available. Starr County.
4. Bloodflower or Wild ipecacuanha (A. curassavica) and photograph. Adjacent county.
5. Prostrate milkweed (A. prostrata). No photograph available. Starr County.
6. Bearded swallow-wort (Cynanchum barbigerum). Starr County.
7. Talayote (C. racemosum). Starr County.
8. MacCart's swallow-wort (C. maccartii). No photograph available. Starr County.
9. Gulf coast swallow-wort (C. angustifolium) and photograph. Nearby county.
10. Climbing milkweed vine (Funastrum cynanchoides = Sarcostemma cynanchoides) and photograph. Adjacent county.
11. White twinevine. (Funastrum clausum = Sarcostemma clausum). Adjacent county.
12. Pearl milkweed (Matelea reticulata). Nearby county.
32. Smallflower milkvine (M. parviflora). No photograph available. Adjacent county.
14. Falfurrias milkvine (M. radiata) No photograph available. Starr County.
15. Shortcrown milkvine M. brevicoronata. No photo available. Starr County.

For a wealth of information about monarchs in Texas visit Texas Monarch Watch sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
 

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