Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Swan Plants

A Mature Swan plant for Monarch butterfly caterpillar. In New Zealand, people grow the swan plants for the Monarch butterflies to lay their eggs. Right now, it is the season (peak of summer) for the caterpillars.
There is even a Monarch Butterfly Trust in New Zealand.

Temperature has an effect on the life-cycle; heat or warmer temps can speed up the life-cycle and cooler temps can pro-long the process. 

1 comment:

Annie in Austin said...

It's fun to know we both grow plants for Monarch butterflies, Ann - and that since we're in different hemispheres the caterpillars appear at different times of the year.

Both of the plants we grow are kinds of Asclepias. Here in Texas we can grow Asclepias tuberosa, called Butterfly weed, and Asclepias curassavica, Tropical milkweed. I looked up your Swan Plant and it's botanical name is Asclepias_physocarpa.

The students' paintings were great!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose