UPDATE -- A naturalist came to our school to talk to the 2nd grade and we found out that the plant that the migrating butterflies are on is called the POVERTY BUSH -- they are actually uncommon in the United States, but the Monarchs have been flocking to them this year because of the killing off of the Milkweed plant. The naturalist said that the flower from this plant produces an oil that was used during the depression to help light oil lamps. But here is some information about this plant -- we truly are witnessing HISTORY because this is very UNCOMMON for the butterflies to even be on this plant!
Here is some more information on the Poverty Bush ...
Eremophila alternifolia or ‘Poverty Bush’ is an erect, open shrub growing in height from 0.5m to 4m. Its flowers are profuse and cover the bush in shades of white, cream, yellow, red, pink or purple from June to March. Eremophila alternifolia has a wide distribution in Western Australia through the arid zones, from Cue and Wiluna in the west, south to Esperance and east to Eucla. It has a variety of habitats including woodlands and hills and shows a preference for red or stony soils. The name ‘Poverty Bush’ is applied to many Eremophila species and refers to their ability to survive in very dry, inhospitable environments.
The Aboriginal name for this plant is ‘Tarrtjan’, meaning Goldfields, an area which comprises a large part of its range. Medicinal uses include a mixture made for colds and sore throats (but used in small quantities), while an infusion of the leaves encourages deep sleep and pleasant dreams. Bark from young twigs, along with dry leaves and flowers can be rubbed onto the skin to relieve skin disorders.
Many species of Eremophila are available from local nurseries, and as they belong to a drought-tolerant, bird-attracting genus, at least one species of the wide range available would be ideal as an inclusion for almost any garden.
Yesterday -- October 15, 2014, I witnessed a natural phenomenon that I could have sat and watched for hours! The school that I work at is in the middle of the CITY and in the backyard of the DFW Airport! But, nestled in some beautiful bushes that are directly behind our school and just happen to be in full bloom right now, monarchs decided to make them their home for a few days! The bushes are also full of bees and wasps. What was really cool was that you could walk right up to the bush and view the bees and see their "cheeks" FILLED with pollen! It was really incredibly awesome! Enjoy the pics!!!
The monarch next to the light pole was truly spectacular!
If you click on the pictures you'll see butterflies and bees living in harmony!
Aren't they gorgeous!!! Not sure what this bush is ... but it smells INCREDIBLE!
They are having lots of fun drinking in that nectar!!!!
Monarchs are so beautiful!!!
There are a couple bees in this picture with the gorgeous butterfly!
Yes ... that's a BUSY BEE!!!!!