Monarch Butterflies

As I was deadheading some of the spent Grape Hyacinth flowers, I disturbed about a dozen Monarch butterflies feeding on the Wallflowers.

Watching them all lift up and flutter about before settling back down to nectar-sipping is certainly dreamlike! I was able to capture just three of the butterflies that returned:



The Monarchs are actually a North American Butterfly, but have been in the Sydney area for almost 150 years. Here in the mountains, late October – early November is breeding season…it will be interesting to see if they lay eggs on these plants.

Happy Gardening 🙂


11 thoughts on “Monarch Butterflies

    • Like the USA, so many things are in decline or on the move to cooler areas. Like the arctic, the South East Coast of Australia is one of the regions of the planet heating up more quickly than others: in my life-time, Sydney has gone from being classified as a warm-temperate maritime environment to a subtropical one.
      As a result, species that were once flourishing on the coast have retreated to the cooler mountains (including me!) or have moved further south. As for the Monarch butterflies, their number here are also in decline: now that their numbers have become more concentrated in the mountains, they have become food for the local Currawong, a bird prolific in the Mountains that also happens to be immune to the toxicity of the Monarch butterfly.


  1. The butterflies in your picture don’t look like Monarchs. I live in Texas and have just seen a bunch nectaring about 2 weeks ago on their way to Mexico. Are you sure they’re not some other kind of butterfly?


    • Hi violetmed, the Australian Monarchs often look different from their North American ancestors – slightly different wing markings and a grey underside.
      I’ve taken this from Wikipedia that I think explains it a little better: “One variation has been observed in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and the United States termed nivosus by lepidopterists. It is grayish-white in all areas of the wings that are normally orange …. possibly due to selective predation
      This probably accounts for those greyish areas and slightly larger black vein areas.


  2. solarbeez says:

    Three butterflies in the same photo…you ought to have that stitched onto your belt. 🙂
    Wallflowers are great for attracting bees and butterflies. Last year we had swallowtails, skippers, bumblebees and honeybees most of the summer. This year the wallflowers were having an ‘off’ year, so hope is high for next year.


    • Hi solarbeez – that’s still an impressive line-up of wildlife for an ‘off’ year – I can only imagine what would happen if the wallflowers start to flower properly – fingers crossed for next year 🙂


  3. How scary when your home undergoes a climate reclassification… But in a sense, I imagine it would drive the point home that things are indeed changing. Too many Americans are still drinking the nay-sayers’ KoolAid, so I almost wish it would be done over here. So cool that you have Monarchs! People her plant Asclepias to help the larvae, but it’s good to know that Erysmium help too! 🙂


    • Thanks annamadeit! I think the US is probably ahead of Australia now in terms of climate action. At least your president is willing to talk about it and to try to commit action: our prime minister famously said that climate change is a ‘load of c..p’ and believes that coal is the future of the planet. Sigh 😦


      • Seriously? Gosh – how do these people get elected??? Our prez pretty much has his hands tied now for his last two years in the presidency after the last election we had a couple of weeks ago. Mindboggling… 😦


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s