What are the Monarch Butterflies feeding on in Georgia?

Dr. Ray Moranz (Xerces Society/NRCS Grazing Lands Pollinator Ecologist) is asking for help from Georgians. He is looking for a list of nectaring plants favored by Monarchs for Georgia. He explained that professionals have long lists of plant species for Monarchs for Georgia, but their concern is that these are educated guesses and are not actual observations.

Below is a list of plant species observed with Monarch butterflies actively “working” on their flowers. This list was gathered in late 2019 by the conservation biologists and botanists of the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance. This is a good start. Are there more species? And can we get photos of Monarchs actually on the flowers of these plant species?

Here’s where you can help!
1. If you see a Monarch butterfly sitting on flowers and probing about with its mouth parts, could you let us know?
2. If you see a Monarch butterfly sitting on flowers and probing about with its mouth parts, could you take a picture and send it to us?

If you know the plant’s name, tell us. If you are not sure, take a few extra photos of the plant from different angles, and we’ll try to identify the plant species for you. Remember, we want your observations and photos of Monarchs engaging with the flowers, not resting on the leaves or stems of the plants.

You can submit photos and observations of Monarchs on flowers here.
You can use our iNaturalist project to add photos of plants and get help with identification here.

Observed nectaring plants favored by Monarchs – Georgia – observations by members of the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance 2019

Allium sp. Wild garlic, False Onion (spring)
Asclepias sp. (tuberosa, perennis) Milkweed
Baccharis halimifolia Groundsel Bush
Cephalanthus occidentalis Buttonbush
Chrysopsis mariana Maryland Goldenaster
Cirsium altissimum Tall Thistle
Cirsium horridulum Yellow Thistle (spring)
Clinopodium georgianum Georgia Mint
Conoclinium coelestinum Blue Mistflower
Cornus florida Flowering Dogwood (spring)
Echinacea purpurea Purple Coneflower
Eupatorium hyssopifolium Hyssopleaf Thoroughwort
Eupatorium serotinum Lateflowering Thoroughwort/ Late Boneset
Fothergilla major Dwarf Witchalder
Heterotheca subaxillaris Camphorweed
Jacquemontia tamnifolia Hairy Clustervine
Liatris sp. (spicata, graminifolia) Blazingstar
Lithospermum caroliniense Carolina Puccoon (spring)
Mikania scandens Climbing H
Nuttallanthus canadensis Canada Toadflax (spring)
Packera aureus Ragwort
Packera glabella Butterweed
Passiflora incarnata Purple Pssionflower
Pluchea camphorata Stinking Camphorweed
Polygonum pensylvanicum Pennsylvania Smartweed
Polygonum sagittatum Arrowleaf Tearthumb
Pycnanthemum pycnanthemoides Southern Mountainmint
Rhododendron canescens Piedmont Azalea (spring)
Rubus sp. Blackberry (spring)
Rubus trivialis Southern Dewberry (spring)
Solidago sp. (petiolaris, altissima, gigantea, nemoralis) Goldenrod
Symphyotrichum dumosum Rice Button Aster
Symphyotrichum georgianum Georgia Aster
Symphyotrichum lateriflorum Calico Aster
Symphyotrichum patens Late Purple Aster
Symphyotrichum racemosum/dumosum/pilosum Small White Fall Asters
Verbesina occidentalis Yellow Crownbeard
Verbesina virginica White Crownbeard
Vernonia noveboracensis New York Ironweed