Liatris ligulistylisis is the Ultimate Monarch Magnet....bar none!
by Tony G
Monarch Butterflies on Liatris Ligulistylis
I never would have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes...twice! In late summer of 2008, I went to the Minnesota State Fair.
As I approached the ecobuilding I saw a swarm of monarch butterflies enthusiastically circling a mini-garden of plants that had very showy purplish flowers. They resembled our garden liatris but the flowers had a bushier appearance and I'd certainly never witnessed such a Monarchian response!
After some online investigation I discovered the plants were Meadow Blazingstar (Liatris ligulistylis.) Then, driving through a Minneapolis neighborhood just days later, I came across these plants in a front yard garden with at least a couple dozen monarchs flocking to them. One of the most magical monarch sightings of my life. We planted some in our garden in 2009 and hope to see similar results next year!
If you love monarchs, this is the attractor you should have on the top of your butterfly garden plants list!
Picture info: The picture was taken outside the Minnesota State Fair ecobuilding Sep 1, 2009. In 2009,the monarch numbers were way down due to cooler temps. Yet on Sep. 1, there were still 4 monarchs on these flowers...long after most had set out on their winter Mexican migration!
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