Hi , check the State of emergency thread and Repatriation from Fuerteventura, please.

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gardening milkweed fuerteventura butterflies butterfly

Butterflies on Fuerteventura
#1
I've finally, after a number of false starts, been able to copy all the posts re butterflies/milkweed etc into this new thread. I've left the originals in place in the Gardening thread to maintain the continuity there. I thought it would be easier to refer to these posts in their own thread.
Please feel free to start using this thread! Thanks, Tamara 29.04.2020
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#2
Mirabilis jalapa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
or four o'clock flower, is the most commonly grown ornamental species of Mirabilis plant, and is available in a range of colours. Mirabilis in Latin means wonderful and Jalapa (or Xalapa) is the state capital of Veracruz in México. Mirabilis jalapa was cultivated by the Aztecs for medicinal and ornamental purposes.
The flowers usually open from late afternoon or at dusk (namely between 4 and 8 o'clock), giving rise to one of its common names. Flowers then produce a strong, sweet-smelling fragrance throughout the night, then close for good in the morning. New flowers open the following day. It arrived in Europe in 1525. Today, it is common in many tropical regions and is also valued in Europe as a (not hardy) ornamental plant


[Image: E6TKNI0.jpg] This plant does very well in the Fuerteventura climate, holding up to the wind as well as the full sun. I love the way that each 'flower' (they're not really the flowers, but look like it!) is different to each other. Some fully one colour, some with stripes or splashes - you can even get completely different colour schemes on one plant. My seed were appropriated from plants around The Atlantico Centre in Caleta where the main colours were an orangey/yellow and yet my plants have a pink/white colour scheme. It self seeds easily if you have a casual garden or can be grown from seed in pots and planted where you want. Most or all of the top growth will die back or look tatty and need cutting back after the flowering season but it will shoot readily again the next spring. It is also a favourite of the Hawk moth caterpillars  Big Grin
My plants average 2-3' in height - sometimes a stem gets blown down but it will continue to grow and bloom. Doesn't need much water, sometimes looks 'tired' on a hot, windy day but perks up again overnight, don't get tempted to keep watering- you are more likely to rot the roots.

[Image: idWI50G.jpg]
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#3
Today's plant is also going in the Wildlife section!

Asclepias curassavica or tropical milkweed

I've been on the lookout for a Milkweed for a while as I'd heard it was a favourite of the Monarch butterfly and grew well out here. I popped in to the large garden centre on the ring road at Puerto today and was surprised and delighted to see a display of Milkweed being promoted in a prominent spot. On closer inspection all of the plants contained at least one large Monarch Caterpillar. It's not often you see a shop selling plants where the leaves are being chomped as you queue to pay! The sales girl was even checking that each plant had at least one caterpillar as they were sold.  Big Grin

[Image: cko075F.jpg]

I bought 2 so the caterpillars had each other for company, well that's my excuse. The plants grow to about 1M high and have bright orange flowers on and off all year so a welcome addition to any garden. I've been told they are tolerant of our sun and wind and do like a regular drink.

[Image: L6RLKdp.jpg]  [Image: H74kBJY.jpg]

More about the Monarch and lifecycle in the Wildlife Gallery post.
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#4
Hi Tamara,
We have joined the New Forum! Good to be on. Long time no see? the years march on - ohhh! (M La Capellania)

Monarch butterflies, yes we do them too. Doing our bit for them & the Island. Last year managed to get 7 away. They do eat ALL the leaves! Had an early visit this year from 1 butterfly, found the 5 caterpillars by accident. I net them over the 5 plants I have in the garden. That way you get to see the butterflies before they go. Only 1 chrysalis through the others disappeared? I have a butterfly basket mesh net with a zipped lid. Should evolve in a few more days.

I have just sent to New Zealand for some other milkweed seeds on Ebay, Gomphocarpus physocarpus ??? yes. Bigger, get more leaves I hope, feed more Caterpillars! They won't be big enough until next year obviously. Have big bobble flowers.

Love your plant thread.  Thumbs Up  Cool Cool Cool
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#5
Thanks PerryPower and OMR for your kind words.

OMR- great to see you on here! (Thought of you the other day when I heard the song playing!) Please keep us updated on your 'super milkweed' and the progress of your caterpillars. And of course anything else of mention (good and bad) in your garden.
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#6
We bought some Milkweed plants from Happy Plants a few weeks ago.  We had three Monarch butterflies from caterpillars in June.  There is at least one chrysalis in our garden at the moment which we hope will produce another Monarch in a few days time.
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#7
Hi Tardis

Good to know so many people are helping the Monarch. Well done!

Our 1 chrysalis turned butterfly yesterday & flew away this morning. 

Took a pic. Might try to put on here later - um?  Cool
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#8
https://fuerteventura.click/Thread-How-t...-your-post

Good luck!
Looking forward to seeing your pic  Smile
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#9
(05-09-2019, 11:44 AM)Tardis Wrote: There is at least one chrysalis in our garden at the moment which we hope will produce another Monarch in a few days time.

Here’s an update on my post of 5 September.

We ended up with three Monarch butterflies which have remained in our garden.  Yesterday, we noticed quite a few eggs and many hatched baby caterpillars (about 1 cm long) on our milkweed.  We think that we might have more caterpillars than the milkweed can cope with.

If that is the case, would any of you like some caterpillars?  It is essential that you have milkweed plants for them to munch on.
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#10
Hi Tardis
I have 2 smallish milkweed plants, growing healthily, and no sign of any eggs/caterpillars at the moment. Whereabouts are you? I'd love 1 or 2 caterpillars please.
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