More Butterfly Gardens - notes


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More Butterfly Gardens - notes

  1. 1. 1/7/2013Out of the Wilds and Into Your Garden Butterfly Flights in Your Yard C.M. Vadheim and T. Drake CSUDH & Madrona Marsh Preserve Gardening with Western L.A. County Native Plants Madrona Marsh Preserve Project SOUND - 2009 July 7 & 11, 2009 © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDOur assignment: get rid of lawn & create butterfly habitat First Question: What are our assets?  Well-draining loam soil – can plant most native plants  Already have some good ‘heritage plants’  Several small citrus trees  Catalina Island Cherry hedge/screen nearby  Dense non-native screen provides shelter, perches  Flexible watering system: grass area somewhat dry in summer © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 1
  2. 2. 1/7/2013Location is key for butterfly gardens  In a sunny protected area of your yard – we need to check the sun/shade patterns  Away from traffic - not a good choice for parking strips.  Out of heavy winds. Butterflies wont stay where they are being blown around. Dense screen is perfect for this. © Project SOUND Winter sun & shade pattern – about 11:00 a.m. © Project SOUND Citrus – Zone 2 Roses & existing screen are Zone 3 Summer sun & shade pattern – about 11:00 a.m. © Project SOUND Water Zones – the challenge of ‘heritage plants’ © Project SOUND 2
  3. 3. 1/7/2013 What do we need for a Butterfly Garden? Zone 3 in winter/ Zone 2/3 summer Zone 2/3 Checkered Skipper © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDTwo important first questions Participating in the annual July Butterfly Count is a great way to learn about butterflies  What butterfly species do I want to attract?  Are there particular butterflies we really want to attract?  What butterflies occur commonly in my area?  Do I want to just attract adult butterflies, or do I want to create true butterfly habitat (provide everything the butterflies need to live in my yard)? © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 3
  4. 4. 1/7/2013 The ‘S. Bay Butterflies & Their Native We’ll be e-mailing you some otherFood Sources’ list is another place to start resources  Nectar Sources list  Larval Food Sources list  List of good butterfly resources  Books focused on our area  Internet resources © Project SOUND © Project SOUND We decide we really want to attract the following First we need to understand the life butterflies – and we want them to stay cycle of butterflies  Swallowtails  Monarchs  If we want  Ladies to provide  Blue Butterflies  Skippers (several species already habitat, we’ll found in the garden) have to provide for all stages of the life cycle © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 4
  5. 5. 1/7/2013What butterflies need: keys to providing butterfly habitat  Adult food: nectar plants, fruit, sap  Larval food plants: often quite specific  Water  Minerals and salt (mud)  Perching/sunning places; protection from wind  Butterflies need sunlight. They are cold-blooded, so they  Hiding places for larvae use the sun to warm up their bodies. Pick a sunny spot for (caterpillars) & pupae your garden and place a few flat stones around so the (cocoons) butterflies can rest while warming up. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Butterflies also need a source of water  Butterflies cannot drink from deep water sources such as a birdbath  Provide water as:  Damp or muddy areas of the garden – around the roses  A shallow dish filled with sand or gravel & refilled each morning – on a post or hung from a tree  A birdbath or fountain with gravel/rocks to provide Butterflies need shelter from wind and rain, and a place to shallow water rest at night. Planting your garden near shrubs and trees will give them the shelter they need. © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 5
  6. 6. 1/7/2013 Confusion about The delicate dance between food plants ‘butterfly plants’ and butterflies  Co-evolution of plants and insects  Many ‘butterfly  ‘food’ is specially formulated for plants’ and ‘butterfly our species – and for our climate bushes’ are from  Some non-native ‘butterfly plants’ don’t provide all the other parts of the requirements – native vs. non- country: native Milkweeds  May not grow so well here  Impact of non-native horticultural plants – all show  May not be appropriate for our and no nutrition local butterflies  Impact of loss of habitat – our yards are important © Project SOUND habitat © Project SOUND If you were a butterfly, what kind of plant Caterpillars are born to eat…. would you like?  Lots of little flowers filled with nectar  Sunflower family (Asteraceae)  Buckwheat genus (Eriogonum )  Milkweed genus (Asclepias )  Fiddleneck genus (Phacelia)  Pea family (Fabaceae) It takes a huge amount of energy  Grasses (food) to grow & metamorphose into a butterfly © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 6
  7. 7. 1/7/2013 If you were a caterpillar what would you like to eat?  Readily accessible  Succulent  Easy to digest  Non-toxic  Not too protected: hairs, secretions, etc. Decide what your gardening philosophy is Larval (caterpillar) food plants are often very specific – you need to plant the larval food plants Remember that providing larval food is more important (for for the species you want to attract survival of a species) than providing nectar plants © Project SOUND © Project SOUND You become fascinated with the Fatal First, draw a base mapMetalmark Butterfly - Calephelis nemesis  Habitat: brushy or weedy areas along roadsides, washes, ditches, and streams  Adult food – any nectar plant  Larval food – very specific  Mule Fat – Baccharis salicifolia  ? Virgin’s Bower – native Clematis species © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 7
  8. 8. 1/7/2013 Then add the large plants Mule Fat – Baccharis salicifolia © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Mule Fat – Baccharis salicifolia Mule Fat – a large bush sunflower!  Size:  Western Hemisphere  8-10 ft tall  Ca to S. America, Texas  8-10 ft wide  Much of CA: Northwestern California, Cascade Range  Growth form: Foothills, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Great Central  Shrubby; many stems Valley, Tehachapi Mountain  Evergreen to drought deciduous Area, Central Western California, Southwestern  Can be pruned and shaped to fit California, Desert needs  Canyon bottoms, moist  Foliage:,781,789 streamsides, irrigation ditches, often forming  Shiny green leaves, becoming thickets darker with age  Characteristic scent  Common name: Mule Fat; Mulefat; Mule-fat; Mule’s Fat;  Food for Fatal Metalmark larva Water-Willy; Sticky Baccharis  Roots:  Netlike – very good for erosion © Project SOUND control © Project SOUND 8
  9. 9. 1/7/2013 Flowers are definitely Mule Fat’s “Willow-like” Leaves Sunflower  Blooms:  Long bloom season  Year-round, but most heavy bloom periods spring and fall in western L.A. Co.  Flowers:  Separate male & female plants  Nectar attracts many insects, including butterflies  Seeds: An example of “convergent evolution”  Small seeds with fluffy ‘parachute’ Leaf shape helps protect riparian plants from water damage  Vegetative reproduction: common and easy © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Mule Fat provides important Mule Fat flowers are clearly sunflowers – even without the ray flowers resources to the community  Habitat considerations  Butterfly and bee nectar plant  Browse for deer and elk  Shelter/nest site for birds, small mammals and reptiles  Human uses  Young shoots – famine food  Stem - charcoal (gun power and Willow “catkin” for comparison fire starting)  Stems – arrow shafts, paint brushes and building material (sturdy but bend) © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 9
  10. 10. 1/7/2013  Soils: Mule Fat: one of ourMule Fat is Adaptable  Texture: any best habitat plants  pH: any local  Light:  Hedges & screens  Trained as a small tree  Full sun to light shade  Espaliered along a wall  Water:  Always good habitat for  Winter: flooding to fairly dry insects, birds  Summer:  Fine with Zone 1-3 once established (after first summer)  Will grow faster with more water s/pcoin/99549969/  Fertilizer: adaptable; fine with an organic mulch, light fertilizer  Can be pruned – even radically – to shape or renew © Project SOUND © Project SOUND When you replace a lawn, access becomes an issue Inspiration from the pros: butterfly gardens  Provide easy access  Provide places to sit and enjoy the butterflies & other wildlife  The garden can be either formal or informal in style  The garden should look pretty – at least much of the year © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 10
  11. 11. 1/7/2013 Additional inspiration How to attract more Skippers  Mass plantings – pretty & affective  Several native species of Skippers we might attract – see the list  Provide some grass areas  ? Signage (if you wanted your  Need all the normal amenities: garden to serve an educational  Water role)  Perching places ‘functional art’ – butterfly  Etc.  Sandhill Skipper water source  Adult (nectar) sources:  Milkweeds  Clovers  Plants in Sunflower family (Yarrow; Asters; many others)  Buckwheats  Larval food sources:  Native and non-native grasses – no wonder we already have Skippers © Project SOUND Wandering Skipper © Project SOUND Let’s add a little grass for Skippers… Saltgrass – Distichlis spicata © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 11
  12. 12. 1/7/2013 Saltgrass  Stiff perennial grass with numerous long stems  Warm-season grass  Sod-forming – spreads  Widely distributed – western North America by rhizomes  Found through much of CA in  May grow flat or more Coastal salt marshes erect (4-16 inches tall) Moist alkaline areas  Looks somewhat like Vernal alkaline areas Bermuda Grass © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDPretty left to grow – or can be mowed Benefits of Saltgrass  Can withstand harsh conditions – salt/alkali soils, seasonal flooding, seasonal drought  Good habitat for birds (seeds and cover) and butterflies (Skippers)  Good for controlling wind or water erosion  Highly resistant to trampling – even for playing fields, golf courses  Looks like Bermuda Grass – and can be treated like it © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 12
  13. 13. 1/7/2013 Saltgrass at end of dry season – no waterKeys to a successful Saltgrass lawn  Lawns usually started from plugs or cut sections of rhizomes  Best done in winter  Bury rhizomes 1-2 inches  Keep ground moist until established  Needs full sun  Needs winter moisture; can water in summer to keep green  Mow infrequently  Needs no/little added fertilizer © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Now let’s add a little color… Sticky Monkeyflowers – like a little shade  Flowering perennials and sub- shrubs make sense in a small garden  Choose wisely:  Some plants provide both adult and larval food  Some plants are showier than others  Some plants are better suited to our local conditions © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 13
  14. 14. 1/7/2013 Sticky (Bush) Monkey Flower - Mimulus/Diplacus aurantiacus Sticky (Bush) Monkey Flower - Mimulus/Diplacus aurantiacus  Much debate about what genus it should belong to  Much debate about how many species – may just be a few with much variability  Much of western & southern CA to Baja,7386,7390 © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Sticky Monkeyflower in the wild Growth habit and other characteristics  rocky hillsides  cliffs  Size: 2-4 ft tall and wide  Narrow glossy sticky dark  canyon slopes green leaves  disturbed  Summer-deciduous in hot climates/gardens areas  Attractive mounding to  borders of sprawling shape coastal sage  Lives to 10 years – slightly scrub, less in gardens, particularly if given summer water chaparral,  Young leaves can be eaten (a open forest bit bitter, tho’) and were used as an antiseptic for cuts, rope burns, etc. Dry, open areas with poor soils © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 14
  15. 15. 1/7/2013 Many uses for Sticky Monkeyflower in Succeeding with Sticky Monkeyflower the garden  Does best in sandy or rocky soils – soil  On hillsides or banks needs to be well-drained; too much water, particularly in winter leads to  In rock gardens fungal disease, short life  In garden beds with  Full sun to part-shade (best for most other native plants that gardens) thrive on a dry period  Give plants a dormant period at the end of summer – no water; can give some  In large pots or summer water before that planters  Prune back each fall to 18 inches or so;  As an accent plant – or prune back to ground every third showy flowers year. Can also prune after spring bloom to encourage fall blooms  In a “hummingbird” or “butterfly garden”  Propagate new plants from cuttings to replace old plants © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Buckwheats like sun – and are great habitat plants Fantastic flower colors  Blooms: year-round in S. Bay; most profuse in summer  Flowers:  Clusters of small tubular flowers© Br. Alfred Brousseau, Saint Marys College with the usual monkey face appearance.  Flower color range is salmon to brick-red to crimson.  Good nectar source:  Hummingbird pollinated; but also attracts bees, butterflies (esp. Checkerspots & Buckeyes)  Seeds:  many small, in dry capsuleYou can also grow ShrubbyMonkeyflowers from tip cuttings  Easy to grow from seed © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 15
  16. 16. 1/7/2013 California Buckwheat - Eriogonum fasciculatum California Buckwheat - Eriogonum fasciculatum  Southwestern U.S.  to Utah, Arizona, nw Mexico  s Sierra Nevada, Central Western California, Southwestern California, East of Sierra Nevada, Desert  Common. Dry slopes, washes, canyons in scrub < 2300 m. var. fasciculatum  fasciculatum : derived from var. foliolosum a Latin word meaning "bundles" and describing the way the leaves are attached to the leaf stem in little bunches or fascicles us2/factsheet.cfm?ID=639,5994,6045 © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Characteristics of California Buckwheat  Size: similar to Dune Buckwheat  2-5 ft tall  3-5 ft wide  Growth form:  low mounded semi-evergreen shrub  Many-branched  Foliage:  Leave alternate, but densely clustered at nodes, evergreen, narrow lanceolate (nearly needle-like) Dune Buckwheat – E. parvifolium CA Buckwheat – E. fasciculatum © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 16
  17. 17. 1/7/2013 CA Buckwheat:  Great for summer color: May- Nov. possible CA Buckwheat cultivars make good showy for months groundcovers  ‘Dana Point’ - brighter green leaf, more  As an alternative to the non- native Rosemary mounding than species  In perennial beds  Bruce Dickinson – good for groundcover; stays close to the ground,  On parking strips & bordering spreads nicely, and holds good form paths and driveways throughout the year.  For erosion control  Larval foodsource for Morman Metalmark, Bramble Hairstreak, Common Hairstreak, Avalon Hairstreak Shrubby Buckwheats can even be sheared to shape for a more formal ‘Dana Point’ look ‘Bruce Dickinson’ © Project SOUND © Project SOUND CA Buckwheat cultivars make good Cultivars & species: choose carefully.. groundcovers  ‘Theodore Payne – low groundcover (1 ft high; 1-3 ft spread)  Warriner Lytle - A sprawling low growing California buckwheat; can grow to 2 feet tall but is often more prostrate, hugging the ground like a mateodorePayne.htm ‘Theodore Payne’ ‘Warriner Lytle’  Buckwheats produce hybrids readily; plant only locally obtained plants if you live near natural stands ‘Warriner Lytle’ ‘Warriner Lytle’ © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 17
  18. 18. 1/7/2013 Managing shrubby  Most are low maintenance  By fall, the flowers turn a buckwheats reddish-brown  Easily deadheaded, if desired  Or (better) retained for the change of color and for bird habitat.  Cut back in late fall to mid-winter to encourage herbaceous growth over woody look  Leave several inches of woody growth  Cutting it back to 6” in late fall keeps the woody growth to a minimum and the plant looking its  CA Buckwheat looks its best in full sun best the year round.  Occasional summer water to keep it looking good – but  When the shrub is becoming too very drought tolerant © Project SOUND leggy, it needs to be replaced. © Project SOUND Make sure you can enjoy your butterfly Many butterflies use CA native garden Milkweeds  Comfortable seating, strategically placed  Plan your planting based on your most likely views _on_narrow-leaf_milkweed.jpg mmerplants.html  Tiger swallowtail  Acmon Blue  Monarch © Project SOUND © Project SOUND california/plants/asclepias-fascicularis 18
  19. 19. 1/7/2013 Place milkweeds in a slightly shadier area The Milkweed family (Asclepidaceae)  Very large family - ~ 2,000 species  Includes perennial herbs, vines, shrubs  The common name "milkweed" refers to the milky, white sap produced when the stem is broken.  Many are poisonous if eaten by Buckwheats humans/animals  The term "weed" refers to the fact that milkweed grows in poor soil  The principal genus in California is grass Asclepias, of which there are 11 species. © Project SOUND © Project SOUNDNarrow-leaf Milkweed - Asclepias fascicularis Showy Milkweed – Asclepias speciosa © 2004 George W. Hartwell © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 19
  20. 20. 1/7/2013 Milkweeds Milkweed family has unusual flowers and seeds  Milkweeds are found in many areas of CA  The petals of the 5-parted flowers are reflexed and the  In the South Bay, Narrow- anthers unite to the stigma in leaf Milkweed found only the form of a crown with 5 in S. Channel Islands Showy Milkweed hood-like appendages.  Sites are typically  The numerous seeds bear tufts  Winter wet/summer dry of silky hairs at their tips for  Sunny to light shade efficient wind dispersal.  Barren soil (bare areas in chaparral/Oak woodlands; streambeds; alluvial areas) Narrow-leaf Milkweed © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Milkweed pods and seeds Consider Using Milkweeds  For butterfly gardens: nectar source for many seeds species; larval food for Monarchs  For showy white-pink flowers in summer  Along paths and walkways  In mid-beds – would look nice with brighter pinks sclepiadaceae/Asclepias_fascicularis.htm and purple flowers How do you think these seeds are dispersed? © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 20
  21. 21. 1/7/2013 Let’s add some other flowering plants for interestTricks to gardening with Milkweeds  Easy to grow  Plant (seeds) in place if possible  Does best in well-drained soil – but can tolerate clay if not over-watered  Full to part sun Perennials & annuals Buckwheats  Average water needs – keep somewhat dry. Can tolerate winter flooding  Cut back to ground in winter (native Californians burned it grass to encourage healthy growth) © Project SOUND © Project SOUND Common Sandaster - Corethrogyne filaginifolia vars. californica and filaginifolia Common Sandaster - Corethrogyne filaginifolia vars. californica and filaginifolia  common and widespread plant in coastal sage scrub, southern oak woodlands and grasslands, and on dry, brushy chaparral slopes var. californica  Taxonomy is confusing:  Many still use the old name for the species: Lessingia filaginifolia  Highly variable species; now lumped them all together under variant filaginifolia - variants need further research  var. californica – adapted to slightly wetter, ocean-influenced habitats var. filaginifolia  var. filaginifolia – adapted to slightly drier habitats © Project SOUND © Project SOUND 21