Monday, June 5, 2017

Butterfly Garden Notes, June 3 & 4, Descanso Gardens, Theodore Payne Foundation and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

I didn't have a lot of time to butterfly watch in my own garden this weekend.  I did, however, notice a very tattered female monarch coming around to lay eggs on the milkweed.  There were also many skippers present and a duskywing.  I'm still seeing a very large number of small monarch caterpillars on the milkweed and some of them are surviving long enough to make it to at least the 2nd instar.

On Saturday morning I did my usual morning hike around Descanso Gardens.  I saw this cabbage white in the native California section of the garden.
Later that afternoon, I visited the Theodore Payne Foundation for Wild Flowers and Native Plants.  It was my first time visiting and I was so impressed.  I learned so much in just one visit.  Everything is very well laid out and organized.  The volunteers are friendly and very informative.  I also did a short hike up Wild Flower Hill which is accessible from the nursery.  The trail leads you on a journey through some of California's most beautiful native plants including California buckwheat, wild flowers, sages, cacti and so much more. It's home to an abundance of wildlife including bobcat, coyote, mule deer and many species of reptiles to name a few. In addition, it's also a great place for bird watching. I had a great time here today and came home with some new native plants for my butterfly garden.  Here are some of my purchases:

California Buckwheat, (Eriogonum fasciculatum var. foliolosum)
Deerweed, Acmispon glaber (Lotus scoparius)  
Golden Yarrow, Eriophyllum confertiflorum var. confertiflorum
Seaside Daisy, Erigeron glaucus
San Luis Obispo Coyote Mint, Monardella villosa ssp. obispoensis

On Sunday, I visited the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden  It's the largest garden dedicated to California native plants and also hosts a butterfly pavilion. Here are some of the butterfly photos.

Variable Checkerspot
Monarchs on native, Narrow Leaf Milkweed
Gulf Fritillary on Cleveland Sage
Cabbage White and California Dogface on Seaside Daisy
Common Buckeye
Gulf Fritillary nectaring on a butterfly feeder

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