Natives Monarchs Prefer

This paragraph comes from the Beavercreek Wetlands Association (BCWA) newsletter, the Spotted Turtle. GoNativesNow is offering Boneset this year for the first time. As you will read it is a very valuable plant to the Monarch butterfly.

“For the first time since BCWA established a Monarch Waystation at Hagenbuch Reserve, we tagged more monarchs there than at Koogler Wetland/Prairie Reserve, where our annual tagging program has been conducted since 2010. An interesting observation was made – at Koogler, monarchs were nectaring on the Maximillian sunflowers in early to mid-September, then asters and goldenrods in late September. However, at the Waystation, the monarchs were strongly attracted to a native plant called tall thoroughwort, also known as tall boneset (Eupatorium altissimum), over all of the other flowering plants. Even when the thoroughwort was well past prime and there were just a few remaining flowers, the monarchs still sought those out and ignored the asters and goldenrods in peak bloom. There is an explanation, provided by a local expert – the Eupatorium species provide an alkaloid used by many butterflies and moths for reproduction (pheromone production) and sequestered as a toxic compound for protection. This shows the value of a plant that most people would consider to be a weed!”
—Debbie Karr

As you may know, BCWA is one of the most successful non-profit land trusts in our area. They work "to preserve and protect the wetlands and uplands along the corridors of the Beaver Creek and Little Beaver Creek" in Dayton. There are many parks you can visit to see native plants in a natural setting.