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Best-selling Field GuidesKaufman Field Guide to
Butterflies of North America
by Jim P. Brock & Kenn Kaufman
The National Audubon
Society Field Guide to
North American Butterflies
by Robert Michael Pyle
A Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies
by Paul A. Opler, Roger Tory Petersen & Vichai Malikul
Caterpillars in the Field and Garden:
A Field Guide to the Butterfly
Caterpillars of North America
by Thomas J. Allen, James P. Brock & Jeffery Glassberg
Butterflies through Binoculars:
A Field Guide to the
Butterflies of Florida
by Jeffrey Glassberg
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Favorite Children’s BooksHow to Raise Monarch Butterflies:
A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids
by Carol Pasternak
Waiting for Wings
by Lois Ehlert
Ten Little Caterpillars
by Bill Martin, Jr. & Lois Ehlert
Gotta Go! Gotta Go!
by Sam Swope & Sue Riddle
My, Oh My–a Butterfly!
All About Butterflies
by Tish Rabe, Aristides Ruiz & Joe Mathieu
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Tag Archives: North Carolina
One of the surest ways to see fall-migrating Monarch butterflies is to plant flowers that attract them. Monarchs will drop from the sky for the nectar they need for energy during fall migrations.
The Monarchs will search for nectar plants the entire time they are traveling to their winter roosting sites in Mexico. Gardens can provide a place for the migrating monarchs so they can refuel and continue their journey. Help Monarchs by planting flowers that bloom late into the fall such as the flowers listed below.
Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.), including Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) and Swamp Sunflowers (Helianthus angustifolius) are late bloomers and provide nectar for migrating Monarchs.
Many Lantanas are still blooming. I had several Monarchs stop in late October in my North Carolina, USA, garden to sip the nectar from ‘Miss Huff’ Lantana (Lantana camara ‘Miss Huff’)
Goldenrod (Solidago spp.) is a wonderful fall blooming perennial and is one of the major nectar sources for the Monarchs’ trip back to Mexico.
The brilliant purple-crimson bloom of Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata) is very attractive to Monarchs. See some spectacular photos of Monarchs on Ironweed at the Flower Hill Farm Retreat.
Other great nectar flowers to plant for fall-migrating Monarchs include
Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea).
Autumn Joy Stonecrop (Sedum ‘Herbstfreude’) burst into bloom in fall. If left standing, they provide winter interest and food for birds.
Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)
Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
The Monarchs flock to the Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum).
Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Ever wonder where the Monarch butterfly got its name?
Apparently, the sight of the Monarch butterfly and its orange color impressed the early settlers, who came to North America from Holland and England. So, they named it “Monarch,” after King William III, Prince of Orange, state holder of Holland, and later named King of England, according to Monarch Watch.
Another version, related by Rick Mikula in The Family Butterfly Book, surmises that the early colonists of North America thought that the gold rim around the chrysalis reminded them of the king’s crown so they named the butterfly “Monarch.”
The scientific name of the Monarch, Danaus plexippus, has another origin. Danaus, great-grandson of Zeus, was a mythical king in Egypt or Libya, who founded Argos. Plexippus was one of the 50 sons of Aegyptus and the twin brother of Danaus.
“In Homeric Greek, plexippos means ‘one who urges on horses,’ i.e.: ‘rider or charioteer.’ Linnaeus, who came up with the scientific name, wrote that the names of the Danai festivi, the division of the genus to which Papilio plexippus belonged, were derived from the sons of Aegyptus.” –Wikipedia
Whatever the origin of its name, the Monarch butterfly truly is royalty!