Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall Migration Pit Stop

The native plants on my suburban prairie provide a welcome pit stop for weary travelers as they journey to their winter destinations. This year's journey will probably be particularly difficult due to the extreme drought affecting much of the migration path.

This female ruby-throated hummingbird looks like she is very happy to see this Salvia greggii in bloom.

Her beak is covered in yellow pollen from the Salvia flowers.

Monarch butterflies are enjoying the flowers on the frost weed, Verbesina virginica.

Another monarch favorite is Gregg's Mistflower, Conoclinium greggii (click the link to see a photo from a couple of years ago). Unfortunately, it has fewer blooms this year due to the drought. 

Food and lodging available at the Plano Prairie Garden. Enjoy your stay and have a safe journey.


  1. Great shots of the hummer! I'm always amazed when someone can actually get a picture of them -- they are so fast!! Salvia greggii is my favorite perennial -- well, one of my favorites. It is gorgeous this time of year, isn't it?! So did "they" rename eupatorium greggii to conoclinium? I can't keep up with the name changes! Why do they do that? Monarchs visited my garden today, too. Beautiful creatures to watch.

  2. Love your salvia greggii! I planted one last year but it didn't make it.... Got to get another one because the hummingbirds love them! Never heard of Greg's Mistflowers but I'll look into them since butterflies like them. Always looking to add more plants for wildlife.

  3. Wow - you got some great pictures of the hummingbird! I laughed when I saw how much pollen was on her beak! She was really enjoying her meal! So nice to have monarchs visiting!

  4. Thanks Toni. It only took about 50 shots to get those 5 hummingbird photos. I set the camera on the sports setting and shot several shots in succession. The bird moved so fast that some of the photos were of a blur and others were just salvia. Salvia greggii is a great hummingbird attractor. They seem to have a preference for the coral colored flowers.
    Don’t you love it when they change the names of plants? I still call Gregg’s mistflower a Eupatorium. Sometimes I will refer to it as blue mistflower, but that is yet another Conoclinium. The Wildflower Center refers to Gregg’s mistflower as Conoclinium greggi and lists Eupatorium as a synonym. Monarchs love the mistflowers—regardless of what the botanists call them.

    Mary, you have to try Gregg’s mistflower. It is a great plant for attracting monarchs, queens, and many other butterflies. It should grow well in Louisiana if you give it good drainage.

    Thanks Holley. The hummingbird was a very enthusiastic nectar slurper.

  5. Sounds like a "greg" fest to greggo.

  6. Greggo, there is another greggii in the photos that I did not mention. Dalea greggii is the silvery plant in the background of the first picture and on the left side of the pathway in the last picture. I hope you enjoyed this post in your honor.

  7. Nice hummer pics, and your prairie garden looks gorgeous in the morning light.


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