Nectar Connectors campaign
Greetings!

Let's check back in on your reports of flowering of Nectar Connectors species!

Your observations give us a better understanding of where and when nectar plants are available for pollinators. This information can be used by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, as well as other organizations, to make conservation plans to protect monarchs and other pollinators.

At this time of year, monarchs are summering in the northern parts of the country, but they will soon start making their journey south to their wintering grounds in Mexico. Below, we take a look at your reports of open flowers from regions across the country.
Monarch on a sunflower
Photo: Katherine Marichak
What you are reporting on nectar plants
You are reporting on nectar plants at 175 sites so far this year, up from 152 sites at the time of our last message. The map below shows sites where observers have reported a "yes" for open flowers for commonly observed Nectar Connectors species. Colors of sites correspond to the species listed across the top; sites with reports of more than one species are indicated with green outlines.
Let's take a closer look at your reports on the most commonly observed Nectar Connectors species.

In the Southeast, the most commonly observed species are butterfly milkweed ( Asclepias tuberosa ) and eastern baccharis ( Baccharis halimifolia ). You have reported open flowers for butterfly milkweed since the beginning of the year, with a peak in July. You have not yet reported open flowers for eastern baccharis. This species is thought to be an important nectar plant for monarchs in the fall as they make their way down to Mexico. In our next message, we'll see if observers are reporting fall open flowers for this species.
In the Northeast, the most commonly observed species are common milkweed ( Asclepias syriaca ) and wild bergamot ( Monarda fistulosa ). You reported wild bergamot open flowers as early as February this year, with a peak in the number of individual plants with open flowers in August. Similarly, you reported common milkweed open flowers as early as February, with a peak in July.
In the Midwest, the most commonly observed species are common milkweed ( Asclepias syriaca ) and butterfly milkweed ( Asclepias tuberosa ). You reported common milkweed open flowers starting in May, with a peak in June. You reported butterfly milkweed in May with a peak in July.
In the Great Plains, the most commonly observed species are blackeyed Susan ( Rudbeckia hirta ) and common sunflower ( Helianthus annuus ). Your reports of blackeyed Susan open flowers started in May, while your reports of common sunflower open flowers started in July. Once we have more observations on these species we'll be able to identify when the peak in open flowers occurred.
In the West, the most commonly observed species are horsetail milkweed ( Asclepias subverticillata ) and showy milkweed ( Asclepias speciosa ). You started reporting horsetail milkweed open flowers in June, with peak in the number of individual plants with open flowers in August. You started reporting showy milkweed in April, with a peak in June and another smaller peak in July.
If you have been keeping your observations on paper datasheets, now is a great time to enter then so that your data are included in our next message!

Earn your Nectar Connectors badge! You can earn this badge by observing a nectar species once a week for six separate weeks in the same year. See it on your Observation Deck .

Thank you for your contributions to this important project!
Contact
Erin Posthumus
erin@usanpn.org
520-621-1670
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