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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.

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Monday - March 23, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pollinators
Title: Butterfly information on Wildflower.org
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Why are butterflies like the "canaries in the coal mine" -- or, what plants best help butterflies? I know the answers, but I don't see the info on your web site. You have a feature under native plants about butterflies, but we need a great piece on this web site from you wonderful folks. Googling "butterflies in coal mine" results in articles from Canada and northern US. I'm currently trying to convince a clueless landlord about the importance of native plant gardening for butterflies. And yes, I'm a Wildflower Center member, grateful for all you do.

ANSWER:

As it turns out, there is quite a lot of infomation on native plant pollinators in general and butterflies specifically in the Native Plant Information Network and more being added all the time.

For example, Butterflies and Moths of North America is a Special Collection listing native plant species important to butterflies and moths.  Other special collections, created with information provided by The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, include the California Pollinator Plant List and a series of collections under the heading, "Value to Beneficial Insects".

Under the Conservation tab on Wildflower.org, we feature a resource page for Pollinator Conservation.  This is sort of a clearinghouse for pollinator information on our website.  As we add new content and resources we will link that information on this page.

An article on butterflies being "canaries in the coal mine" would certainly fit nicely on our web pages and we appreciate your suggestion.  As financial and human resources allow, we might add just such an article in the future.

 

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