Looking for catepillars and crown flowers on Oahu


I live on Oahu and am looking for caterpillars and crown flowers, so I can teach my niece the life cycle of a butterfly. It's just a simple experiment, so I only need a few caterpillars. I've spent several hours so far calling plant nurseries, pet shops, wedding planners (butterfly release), and can't find ANY caterpillars and crown flowers. I'm hoping you can help me or maybe your Hawaii readers have a yard of such items that they wouldn't mind sharing. Look forward to your reply. Thank you kindly.

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Found Crown Flowers
by: Leslie

Not sure how old this thread is, but I was looking for some nectar plants for my monarchs and they were selling pots of crown flowers at Koolau Farmers ( http://www.koolaufarmers.com/ )

Hope this helps!


Im looking too
by: Anonymous

Hey I am looking to do the same with my daughter, and I have been on a wild goose chase hiking to try and find the plant on Oahu. So please post if you find any, now is the season too. They do need to eat a lot. I had a few started but then the ants got to them in their cocoon stage and I couldn't find anymore leaves to feed so I let another go so it could hopefully find food on it's own, Good luck!!

Crown Flower
by: Carole

I didn't know what a Crown Flower was, so went to my old buddy, Google. I have only seen that at Balboa Park in San Diego, under the name of Caltropis (or something like that). There are lots of other plants that are host plants for Monarch butterflies.

I have 3 or 4 kinds of Asclepias in my yard as well as a CA native plant that is in that family, but a different Genus. I had to look it up in my list of plants, but it's Sarcostemma cynanchoides --Climbing Milkweed--Asclepiadaceae. From my notes: "Climbing milkweed usually grows among shrubs and small trees in dry rocky washes and flats below 2000' (-4500') in both deserts, and also sometimes in coastal sage scrub and chaparral." So far, my first plant has been pulled out by 2 garden "helpers", but I put another one in where I can keep a better watch on it. Since we've had way more rain than usual for 2 years now, maybe they will take off--finally!

I have Asclepias fascicularis (a native the gophers really like--so it doens't necessarily last long), A. tuberosa which is from the Midwest, but doing okay so far. The ones that have done the best for me are A. physocarpa (also called Family Jewels tree) and A. curassavica (which comes in yellow/orange and in a yellow one that is called "Silky Gold."

I've had an amazing number of Monarchs part of the time. In fact, I just saw one a few days ago--and had a couple caterpillars who were crawling around, too. I had noticed earlier (maybe December) that a couple of the smaller caterpillars had died in a different part of the yard. We get some frost, but mostly just signs of it in the lowest part of the yard, where there's the worse air drainage.

My deck is high enough, and with good enough air drainage, that apparently the caterpillars can survive.

I have noticed in previous years that I also have Gulf Fritillaries all but 1-2 months a year. However, some of my Passion Vines died after I cut them way back on the advice of a friend, because of some weird looking scale. They died! They don't seem to lay eggs on the P. edulis, and the only other one I have left is one I'm trying to get rid of since it spreads by runners or seeds over a huge area! I have about an acre, but don't want passionvines all over it!

I also get a lot of the Yelow Sulphur butterflies. In fact, I noticed recently that I had cassias (or sennsa--it would be nice if they settled on the name) have flowers on them. I've also had some Mourning Cloaks, and figured out it was because of the Curly Willow I planted. (We have such low rainfall, I don't have very many plants that want that much water.)

I keep putting in more CA native plants, so should get more of the native butterflies, too... I love seeing the birds, bees, lizards, butterflies, etc. in the yard. Isn't it fun?

Karen says:
Yes, it is fun! Thanks for the great report of butterflies in your CA backyard. Very interesting and informative!!

I have caterpillars on my crown plant
by: van


If you are still looking for caterpillars and crown flowers, I've got both. However, you can come view but can not remove them. I've been growing the plant for over a year to witness this activity. email me at thuvan3@hotmail.com.


Caterpillar request
by: Anonymous

Be careful what you bring in from other places.

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