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(Danaus plexippus)

Caterpillar hosts: Milkweeds including common milkweed (Asclepius syriaca), swamp milkweed (A. incarnata), and showy milkweed (A. speciosa); and milkweed vine in the tropics. Most milkweeds contain cardiac glycosides which are stored in the bodies of both the caterpillar and adult. These poisons are distasteful and emetic to birds and other vertebrate predators. After tasting a Monarch, a predator might associate the bright warning colors of the adult or caterpillar with an unpleasant meal, and avoid Monarchs in the future.

Adult food: Nectar from all milkweeds. Early in the season before milkweeds bloom, Monarchs visit a variety of flowers including dogbane, lilac, red clover, lantana, and thistles. In the fall adults visit composites including goldenrods, blazing stars, ironweed, and tickseed sunflower.

Monarchs are found around many open habitats including fields, meadows, weedy areas, marshes, and roadsides.

How The Gardens Came To Be
By Louise Hallberg
I have lived in the house at the gardens since I was a child. In the 1920s I attended Oak Grove School, Swallowtail landing on Pipevinewhere we studied wildflowers and birds. One day, when I was still a child, my mother found an odd vine in a roadside ditch on the way to her cousin's house. She planted a layered piece by our tank house and it spread across our yard. When the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly found it and laid eggs, we had caterpillars, then chrysalises, then butterflies!

Strybing Arboretum Joins
In April 1990, I called Strybing Arboretum because they were selling plants that attract butterflies. Barbara Deutsch answered. In the course of our conversation, I mentioned there were about 50 Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies flying in my yard. Barbara soon came to see the garden and its butterflies, Lousie Hallberg and Don Mahoneybringing Strybing plant manager Don Mahoney and landscaper Jeff Caldwell, who specializes in butterflies. They suggested starting a butterfly garden on the north side where the sun shines.

In those days there wasn't much information about gardening for butterflies, but Jeff sent detailed information and nectar and host plant lists. My helper Judy and I started creating habitat right away. We replaced a kindling pile and construction debris with a strawberry tree, butterfly bushes, rose-colored Centranthus, and Verbena. The habitat garden quickly jumped the seasonal stream and spread up the hill.

Hallberg Butterfly Gardens Becomes A Non-Profit
In 1997, we became a non-profit 501c3 corporation, and launched our tradition of opening the garden to the public on our " Open Gardens Day." About the same time, some teachers from Oak Grove School asked if they could bring their classes to see the Gardens, so we started school tours. Word spread and more schools began coming.
Book: A Class Visit to Miss Lousie Hallberg's Garden
A class trip to Miss Hallberg's Butterfly Garden,
by Gay Bishop Brorstrom and Kathy Geotzel

Over the years, Hallberg Butterfly Gardens has had thousands of visitors and has been featured in books, magazines, newspapers, and even television programs! People come from near and far, even other countries to see my gardens and butterflies.

I am pleased that habitat gardening is becoming more and more popular.
- Louise Hallberg

Rose-Colored Centranthus

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