Sunday, April 19, 2009

Monarchs and Meadow Blazing Star

The weather was pretty nice out on this Friday and Saturday so I decided to go out and check some of my favorite haunts to see how Spring and migration is going. Although there is not any snow around anymore everything was still really brown. Fortunately we got some rain today and it appears to be helping to green things up.
One of the places that I stopped at was the Maplewood Nature Center. Besides a great birding location the Maplewood Nature Center also has one of the best butterfly gardens that I have seen in the area. It is still a little early to have a butterfly garden up and running so far this year but I did want to get a picture of their butterfly garden sign, which gives info on the plants that they typically use.
In case it is too small to read the plants featured on the sign are purple prairie clover, butterfly weed, meadow blazing star, and prairie phlox.
The flowers that always seemed to be the most popular at the butterfly garden were the meadow blazing star.
As the sign states the meadow blazing star are monarch magnets and I found more monarchs on these plants in Maplewood, during September, then I found any where else on my travels through out the summer.
The meadow blazing star blooms in August and typically stays in bloom for four to six weeks. This means that it is usually in bloom when our second brood of monarch take wing and stays in bloom while they gather together in preparation to migrate south. They are nectar rich and unlike other blazing stars the meadow blazing star has multiple blooms per stalk.
This is one of the main reasons why the Maplewood Nature Center has been certified as a registered Monarch Waystation.


Shellmo said...

I'm glad you mentioned that meadow blazing star - I'll have to check that out to see if I can grow it here. Love your monarch photo!!

dAwN said...

The monarch photos are beautiful.

amanda said...

lovely Monarchs I am jealous! We have blazing stars in Cali too but they are white.

Chris said...

Lovely shots. some time I will change my 300mm lens for a mcaro one :-)

Tulip said...

wonderful monarchs.

Denise said...

Great photos of both monarch and flowers. Thank you for sharing them with Today's Flowers.

2sweetnsaxy said...

Okay, I'm a little jealous. LOL! I would love to go some place like this. Beautiful, amazing shots!!