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Old 07-13-2012, 04:11 PM   #1
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Default SAw a sliver spotted skipper on my purple coneflower today.

I saw a large skipper on my cone flower today. So I grabbed my Butterfly guide and ID it as a sliver spotted skipper. I live in MN.


What host plants attracts/host the sliver spotted skipper that are native to MN and how big do they get? Among other factors I'm running out of space to plant stuff..

Some photos of adults. host plants in flower and cats would also help.
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:40 AM   #2
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could someone post.
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:01 AM   #3
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Default Anyone ever try growing Flase indego and american pokeweed.

After I saw the sliver spotted skipper nectering on the purple cone flower in our yard and researching its host plant I've decided that maybe I want to try False indego, over by where the hairy wood mints and black eyed susans are. I would dig up more of the boulivard, move the recyling boxes to under the hack berry tree. And move and plant the wood mint to make room for a false indego so I can hopefully have sliver spotted skipper cats.. What are the chances there is a breeding population of theses skippers in my area?( inner city). The host plant gets big, like 10 feet big, so is it worthwhile or was it the skipper just a passerby.


Another plant I'd like to try is American poke weed in the shadier haunts to hopefully draw in more then just house sparrows. I know there are other birds in the area I heard a morning dove, saved a chickadee from the sparrows of evil, (they were battling on the fence I went out and both birds flew away) and seen blue jays/robins./ect
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:55 PM   #4
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Congratulations on your skipper, Alex. I can sense your excitement.
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What are the chances there is a breeding population of theses skippers in my area?( inner city). The host plant gets big, like 10 feet big, so is it worthwhile or was it the skipper just a passerby.
I really don't know much about them, but, if they come through your yard and find a host plant, I'm assuming you have a good chance that they'd use it. I'd only hope that there are enough nectar sources for when they become adults...but I'm sure you are doing your best to provide them.

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Another plant I'd like to try is American poke weed in the shadier haunts to hopefully draw in more then just house sparrows.
I will tell you that I do grow pokeweed and am happy to have it...there are many others on here who seem to have a problem with it in. A garden setting. That is something to think about. Do you have a "wild" area in which to let it grow?
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:46 PM   #5
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I have an area I treated for Gout weed so it isn't an area I would want to stick a sensitive species. That would be perfect to let poke weed wander. I already have some canada amone planted there.

I have an area that I'd like to plant a false Indigo. Its kinda shady though. I worry with the sheer size it can attain it would compete with the eastern Wahoo. Further back by the joe pie might be good.. Can Rubarb/kind you eat/ take deep heavy shade. I don't want to kill the plant with native giants like joe pie and false indigo..
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:13 PM   #6
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Well, I'm glad you have a space for it.

Not sure how much shade rhubarb can take. Mine is in mostly full sun. It was here when we moved in.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
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Alex, I'm not sure which false indigo you're thinking of planting, since both baptisia and amorpha (the one I think you mean, given the size) have that as a common name, but both are listed as sun plants tolerant of partial shade.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:44 PM   #8
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Alex, I live in NC, so I am not sure my comments apply to MN, but here goes.

In my yard, I see silver spotted skippers on cone flowers, lantana, joe pye, rudebeckia, occ on mountain mint. Lantana is native to Texas and points south, but not to me and certainly not to you. I have seen them on my silphiums, too.

I have found their larva on my Amorpha, but that plant hasn't yet bloomed so I don't know if they like the flowers.

I have baptisias flowering in fairly significant shade, but they do better in sun. I planted two kinds of Amorpha two years ago, both only get about 4 hours of sun a day and both have grown but not flowered.

I really like pokeweed. Cardinals, bluebirds and any fruit eating birds will like it. It won't stay where you put it, though. Pokeweed puts down very large, tuberous roots and once it is there it is hard to ever eliminate it (so pull out volunteers really quickly if they are where you don't want them!)

Good luck!
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:51 PM   #9
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Thanks I will look into those plants. I think the local cardinals and blue jays need to be helped in any way possible. If the Indigo is stunted from shade I wont mind.


I have two flower boxes by our front steps, really box like concrete mini gardens which I have grown strawberries in for years. I ripped out the strawberries as they were old and needed to be replaced. Any good wildlife attracting flowers/grasses that like full sun but stay under 4 feet or so?
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:15 AM   #10
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Native host plants for the Silver-spotted Skipper:

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)
Amorpha canescens – leadplant
Amorpha fruticosa – desert false indigo
Amphicarpaea bracteata – American hogpeanut
Apios americana – groundnut
Astragalus canadensis – Canadian milkvetch
Chamaecrista fasciculata – partridge pea
Chamaecrista nictitans – sensitive partridge pea
Desmodium canadense – showy ticktrefoil
Desmodium canescens – hoary ticktrefoil
Desmodium ciliare – hairy small-leaf ticktrefoil
Desmodium cuspidatum – largebract ticktrefoil
Desmodium glutinosum – pointedleaf ticktrefoil
Desmodium illinoense – Illinois ticktrefoil
Desmodium marilandicum – smooth small-leaf ticktrefoil
Desmodium nudiflorum – nakedflower ticktrefoil
Desmodium obtusum – stiff ticktrefoil
Desmodium paniculatum – panicledleaf ticktrefoil
Desmodium pauciflorum – fewflower ticktrefoil
Desmodium perplexum – perplexed ticktrefoil
Desmodium rotundifolium – prostrate ticktrefoil
Desmodium sessilifolium – sessileleaf ticktrefoil
Glycyrrhiza lepidota – American licorice
Gleditsia aquatica – water locust
Gleditsia triacanthos – honeylocust
Lathyrus palustris – marsh pea
Lathyrus venosus – veiny pea
Lespedeza capitata – roundhead lespedeza
Lespedeza frutescens – shrubby lespedeza
Lespedeza hirta – hairy lespedeza
Lespedeza procumbens – trailing lespedeza
Lespedeza repens – creeping lespedeza
Lespedeza violacea – violet lespedeza
Lespedeza virginica – slender lespedeza
Lotus unifoliolatus – American bird's-foot trefoil
Phaseolus polystachios – thicket bean
Robinia viscosa – clammy locust
Senna hebecarpa – American senna
Senna marilandica – Maryland senna
Wisteria frutescens – American wisteria

From this thread (Post #25):
http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/for...ilkweed-3.html

The plants listed above are the host plants for the Silver-spotted Skipper that are native to Indiana, so you will have to check to see which plants are also native to MN. If space is limited some of those plants are quite small.
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