Pollinator Plantings Help

Here are some online resources that may help with our Monarchs and More! 2014/2015 Focus Project Waystations’ design, planning, construction and planting.


ncrs.pollinatorfriendlyplantsNatural Resources Conservation Service’s Pollinator-Friendly Plants for the Northeast United States. Close to 60 plants are featured with photographs, pollinator value, bloom time and more.

Find it here.



pollinationpartners.carolheiserWild in the Woods Pollination Partners, by Carol Heiser, Wildlife Habitat Education Coordinator with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Start with tall flowers in the back, such as sunflowers, and a trellis with climbing varieties like trumpetvine or trumpet honeysuckle. Common milkweed and Joe pyeweed will also get tall; you can hide their straggly appearance with bushier plants in front. Choose a variety of flowering types: some with symmetrical rays (petals) like coreopsis, asters and black-eyed Susans; some with irregular shapes like bee balm and goldenrod; and those with shallow blossoms like thistle, knapweed, phlox and yarrow.

Find it here.


leplogBUTTERFLY GARDENING IN THE WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA by Alonso Abugattas, Master Gardener, Virginia Master Naturalist, and a co-founder of the Washington Area Butterfly Club.

Find it here.


xercesThe Xerces Society‘s Mid-Atlantic Pollinator Plant List is a resource for this invertebrate conservation organization’s Bring Back the Pollinators campaign.

Find it here.



CentralAppalachianSelecting Plants for Pollinators: A Regional Guide for Farmers, Land Managers, and Gardeners from the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC–www.nappc.org)

Find it here.



Monarch Butterfly Conservation Webinar Series

A Monarch Joint Venture and US Fish and Wildlife Service Project

mjvMonarch Biology and Conservation Basics – December 17, 2014. Presented by Karen Oberhauser, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota

Habitat Restoration Fundamentals – February 12, 2015. Presented by Eric Lee-Mäder, Pollinator Conservation Program Co-Director, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

Enhancing Existing Landscapes for Monarch/Native Pollinators – April 23, 2015. Panel presentation.

Contributions of Monarch Citizen Science & Program Overviews – April 30, 2015. Panel presentation.

Find this webinar series here here.

Monarchs in the News

sn-migrationR2Plan to save monarch butterflies backfires, Lizzie Wade, sciencemag.org, January 13, 2015

“The problem is that tropical milkweed—at least when planted in warm environments like southern Texas and the U.S. Gulf Coast—doesn’t die back in the winter like native milkweed does. When presented with a place to lay their eggs year-round, many monarchs don’t bother making the trip to Mexico at all. Tropical milkweed is ‘trapping the butterflies’ in these new winter breeding sites, says Lincoln Brower, a monarch biologist at Sweet Briar College in Virginia.

But it turns out that year-round tropical milkweed presents an even more direct threat to the butterflies. Milkweed hosts a protozoan parasite called Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE). As caterpillars, monarchs ingest the parasite along with their normal milkweed meals, and when they hatch from their chrysalises they are covered in spores. ‘It’s a debilitating parasite,’ (Dara) Satterfield, (a doctoral student in ecology at the University of Georgia, Athens) says. Infected monarchs are much weaker than their healthy counterparts and don’t live nearly as long. In fact, if an OE-infected monarch tries to migrate, it will probably die long before it arrives in central Mexico, Satterfield says.”