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This project was made possible by a generous grant from Fido and the Evergreen Foundation, partners in the Share Your Care campaign. We are grateful for their support.

Plant lists

Plants we've seen monarch butterflies nectaring on

Photo gallery

  • Common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca (native)
  • Swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata (native)
  • New England aster, Aster novae-angliae (native)
  • Canada goldenrod, Solidago canadensis (native)
  • Tall goldenrod, Solidago canadensis var. scabra (native)
  • Black-eyed susan, Rudbeckia hirta (native)
  • Boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum (native)
  • Joe-pye weed, Eupatorium maculatum (native)
  • Flat-topped Aster, Aster umbellatus (native)
  • Balsam ragwort, Senecio pauperculus (native)


  • Buckwheat, Fagopyrum esculentum (non-native)
  • Bull thistle, Cirsium vulgare (non-native)
  • Burdock, Arctium minus (non-native, somewhat invasive)
  • Butterfly bush, Buddleia (non-native)
  • Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense (non-native)
  • Comfrey, Symphytum officinale (non-native, somewhat invasive)
  • Chives, Allium schoenoprasum sp. (non-native)
  • Cosmos, Cosmos sp. (non-native)
  • Cup plant, Silphium perfoliatum (not locally native)
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) (non-native)
  • Goat's-beard (Tragopogon pratensis) (non-native)
  • Hound's tongue, Cynoglossum officnale (non-native)
  • Lantana sp. (non-native)
  • Long-Leaved Speedwell, Veronica longifolia
  • Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria (non-native, invasive but controlled)
  • Purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea (non-native)
  • Queen Anne's lace, Daucus carota (non-native)
  • Red clover, Trifolium pratense (non-native)
  • Sedum (non-native)
  • Sorghum (non-native)
  • Sowthistle, Sonchus sp. (non-native)
  • Verbena, Verbena bonariensis (non-native)
  • Viper's bugloss, Echium vulgare (non-native)
  • Wild oregano/wild marjoram, Origanum vulgare (non-native)
  • Zinnia (non-native)

Plant list for Butterfly Meadow

Diane Lepage
September 2011

Plants for the Model Monarch Waystation

  • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
  • Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) (wet area)
  • Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
  • Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
  • Beebalm (M. didyma)
  • Cup plant (Siphilium perfoliatum)
  • Spotted Joe Pye Weed, (Eupatorium maculatum) (wet area)
  • Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) (wet area)
  • Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
  • New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae)
  • Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea prupurea)
  • Gray-headed Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)
  • Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)

Low vegetation

  • Thyme (Thymus serpyllum)
  • Wild mint (Mentha arvensis)
  • Common strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)
  • Wild marjoram (Origanum vulgare) - in the sun
  • Showy Tick-trefoil (Desmodium candense)

Other possibilities

  • Blazing-star (Liatris spicata)
  • Hoary vervain (Verbena stricta)
  • Common Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex)
  • Sulphur Cinquefoil (Potentilla recta)
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
  • Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium montanum)
  • Vervain (Verbena hastate)
  • Bottle gentian (Gentiana andrewsii) (wet area?)
  • Ciliolate Aster (Aster ciliotus)
  • Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) (wet area)
  • Long-Leaved Speedwell (Veronica longifolia)
  • Hairy Beard-tongue (Penstemon hirsutus)
  • Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra)
  • Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)
  • Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
  • Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)
  • Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)
  • Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)
  • Tall/Prairie Cinquefoil (Potentilla arguta) (needs dry area) may be difficult to get
  • Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana) (damp to semi-dry)
  • Ironweed (Vernonia missurica)
  • Lupines (Lupinus perennis)
  • Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium)
  • Violet (Viola blanda, V. odorata, V. pubescens) (for woods)
  • Bloodroot (Sanguenaria canadensis) (woods)
  • Philadelphia Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus) (take from other area)
  • Nettle (Urtica sp.)

This page was revised 11 June 2015
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