Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Royal Visit to the Prairie

One day after my post on monarch butterflies, another member of the royal family made its presence known on the prairie. When I arrived home from work, there were seven queen butterflies roaming around the prairie and sipping nectar from the Gregg’s Mistflower, Conoclinium greggii or Eupatorium greggi. The queens were joined by a few skippers.
 
At first glance, monarch and queen butterflies may look the same, but once they open their wings, it is easy to tell the difference. Monarchs have a black veining pattern on their open wings and queen butterflies do not.

This photo from 2008 shows a monarch on Eryngo, Eryngium leavenworthii .

This photo shows a queen butterfly in the prairie today.

Plant some Gregg’s mistflower and you are guaranteed to attract monarch, queen and many other butterflies and bees to your garden. You just don’t get that with impatiens and begonias.

1 comment:

  1. You're so right. There have been times when 30 queens have risen when I walked past our Gregg's mistflower. It's too much fun to see so many beauties at once. I've wondered if they migrate? We see more of them in late summer/early fall. But we have green milkweed vines in our woodland which might serve as hosts.

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