Want Pollinators? Plant Trees by @rethinktrees
Granted, the number of species supported is not the only way to measure the value of a plant. The monarch butterfly, for example, doesn’t care that Milkweeds only support 12 butterfly and moth species, while Oaks support 534. The Monarch only lays eggs on Milkweeds and its caterpillars only eat Milkweeds. Many butterflies need specific tree species or genera too. For example, the spicebush swallowtail caterpillar only feeds on spicebush (Lindera benzoin ) and sassafras (Sassafras albidum ), both native understory trees. The zebra swallowtail only feeds on young pawpaw (Asimina triloba) leaves. The Pink-striped oakworm needs oaks (Quercus ). The Rosy maple mothy needs maples (Acer ). These are just a few of many butterflies and moths that need specific tree and shrub species or genera. Many native bees are also specialists that require a specific species or genus. Learning ...