Monarch Habitat

The Monarch Butterfly Habitat, located north of Treasure Island Park and adjacent to the Great Miami River, was developed on a five-acre land donated to the City of Troy in 2011 by Illinois Tool Works.

The Habitat was created in 2019 through a partnership between the Troy Board of Park Commissioners, the Troy Rotary Club, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Alpha Garden Club and is composed of flowering shrubs, milkweed, and other plant life to attract pollinators.

Along the half-mile walking trail are three benches and landscape stones donated by the Rotary Club, as well as informational signs and kiosks. This habitat provides a vital food source for pollinators, including monarch butterflies, which have been in severe decline due to loss of habitat, increased pesticide use, and other factors.

Monarch Habitat

Anise Hyssop

Anise hyssop

Common Name: Anise Hyssop
Scientific Name: Agastache foeniculum
Family: Lamiaceae
Bloom Time: July-August
Bloom Description: Lavender to purple
Native Range: Northern North America
Height: 2-4 feet
Spread: 1.5-3 feet
Use: Naturalized areas, meadows, herb, wildflower gardens, butterfly garden

Agastache foeniculum, commonly known as anise hyssop, attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. A clump-forming perennial of the mint family, anise hyssop is typically found in prairies, dry upland forested areas, plains and fields. It is notable for its mid- to late summer bloom of lavender to purple flowers, and its foliage that gives an anise-like scent. Seeds can be added to cookies or muffins. Dried leaves can be added to potpourris.

Genus name comes from the Greek words agan meaning very much and stachys meaning an ear of wheat in reference to the flower spikes. Specific epithet comes from a Latin meaning hay.

Black-Eyed Susan 

Black Eyed Susan

Common Name: Black-Eyed Susan
Scientific Name: Rudbeckia hirta
Family: Asteraceae
Bloom Time: June-October
Bloom Description: Yellow to orange-yellow rays and dark brown centers
Native Range: Central United States
Height: 2-3 feet
Spread: 1-2 feet
Use: Naturalized areas, cottage gardens, meadows, wild gardens

Ruudbeckia hirta, commonly called black-eyed Susan, is a bright and showy native wildflower. It can be found blooming in open woods, prairies, fields, roadsides and other well-drained places.  Its daisy-shaped flowers can grow to up to three inches across, and have domed centers.

The genus name honors Olof Rudbeck (1630-1702), a Swedish botanist and the founder of the Uppsala Botanic Garden in Sweden. The species name of hirta means “hairy,” in reference to the short bristles that cover the leaves and stems.

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal flower

Common Name: Cardinal Flower
Scientific Name: Lobelia cardinalis
Family: Campanulaceae
Bloom Time: July-September
Bloom Description: Scarlet red, white or rose
Native Range: North and South America
Height: 2-4 feet
Spread: 1-2 feet
Use: Naturalized areas, rain gardens

Lobelia cardinalis, commonly called cardinal flower, grows in moist locations along streams, sloughs, springs, swamps and in low wooded areas. This Lobelia’s tall spikes of showy flowers shoot up from spiky, toothed leaves. Although each plant lives for only a few years, Lobelias are prolific self-seeders and reseed often. Cardinal flower attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

The common name is a reference to the red robes worn by Roman Catholic cardinals. Genus name honors Matthias de l'Obel (1538-1616), French physician and botanist, who with Pierre Pena wrote Stirpium Adversaria Nova (1570) which detailed a new plant classification system based upon leaves. Specific epithet means scarlet or cardinal red.

Common Foxglove


Common Name: Common Foxglove
Scientific Name: Digitalis purpurea 
Family: Plantaginaceae
Bloom Time: June – July
Bloom Description: Strawberry pink, white, or purple
Native Range: Western, southern, and central Europe
Height: 2 to 5 feet tall
Spread: 1 to 2.5 feet wide
Use: Naturalized areas, woodland gardens, borders  

Digitalis purpurea is a wild foxglove that produces light green, oblong leaves and funnel-shaped flowers grouped along tall spikes. Foxgloves are biennial bloomers, meaning that they flower every other year. They are favorites of hummingbirds as well as butterflies.

Genus name comes from the Latin digitus meaning "finger" for the flower shape. Specific epithet means purple.

Common Milkweed 

Common milkweed

Common Name: Common Milkweed
Scientific Name: Asclepias syriaca
Family: Apocynaceae
Bloom Time: June-August
Bloom Description: Pink, mauve, white
Native Range: Eastern North America
Height: 2 to 3 feet
Spread: About 1 foot
Use: Naturalized areas, prairies, meadows, butterfly gardens

Milkweed is a crucial part of pollinator habitats across the United States. The flowers of the common milkweed are a nectar source for many butterflies, and milkweed leaves are the sole food source for monarch butterfly caterpillars. The stems and leaves exude a milky sap when cut, giving milkweed its nickname. Flowers are showy and fragrant. After the flowering season, milkweed flowers give way to large, warty seed pods. When ripe, the seed pods spit open and release fluffy, silk-tailed seeds that are dispersed by the wind.

The genus name Asclepios honors the Greek god of healing, Asklepios, although most milkweed species are toxic to mammals.


Dogbane (1)Common Name: DogbaneScientific Name: Apocynum cannabinum 
Family: Apocynaceae
Bloom Time: June-September
Bloom Description: White to green
Native Range: Northeastern United States, Canada
Height: 2-4 feet
Spread: 1.5-2.5 feet
Use: Naturalized areas, butterfly gardening

Apocynum cannabinum is a bushy member of the dogbane and milkweed family that features opposite, lance-shaped leaves on upright, stiff stems with terminal clusters of very tiny, whitish flowers that bloom in summer. Like milkweed, dogbane releases a milky juice when bruised or cut. Although this plant is considered toxic to humans and dogs, the roots were commonly harvested in the 19th and early 20th centuries for a variety of folk medicine and medical purposes, and has been used to make rope.

Genus name comes from the classical Greek name for this or a related plant. Believed to be poisonous to dogs. Specific epithet refers to the Cannabis-like use of dogbane hemp for roping.

Downy Wood Mint 

Downy woodmint

Common Name: Downy Wood Mint
Scientific Name: Blephilia ciliata 
Family: Lamiaceae
Bloom Time: June-July
Bloom Description: Blue, purple
Native Range: Eastern United States
Size: 1-2.5 feet tall
Spread: Up to 1.5 feet
Use: wild, native plant or woodland gardens 

Blephilia ciliata, commonly called Ohio horsemint or downy wood mint, is similar in appearance to monarda but is actually a member of the mint family member. The lowest leaves on this plant stay green all winter. Although its scent is weaker than most mints, the leaves of the downy wood mint release a minty fragrance when crushed. 

Genus name comes from the Greek word blepharis for “eyelash,” due to long, hair-like shape of the plant’s bracts.

Gray-headed Coneflower 

Grey Headed Coneflower

Common Name: Gray-headed Coneflower
Scientific Name: Ratibida pinnata
Family: Asteraceae
Bloom Time: July-October
Bloom Description: Yellow
Native Range: Central North America
Height: 3-5 feet
Spread: 1.5-2.5 feet
Use: Native plant gardens, meadows, prairies, dry woods, sunny borders

Ratibida pinnata, commonly called gray headed coneflower, looks similar to rudbeckia varieties, but has pinnate leaves, or multiple leaves per stem. The composite flowers have an elongated, dull-gray center disk and greenish-yellow rays. Grey-headed coneflowers are particularly attractive to butterflies.

Genus name of uncertain origin. Specific epithet is in reference to the pinnate leaves.

Lanceleaf Coreopsis


Common Name: Lanceleaf Coreopsis
Scientific Name: Coreopsis lanceolata 
Family: Asteraceae
Bloom Time: June-July
Bloom Description: Yellow
Native Range: North America
Height: 1 to 2 feet
Spread: 1 to 1.5 feet
Use: Wildflower gardens, meadows, prairies, dry soil areas

Coreopsis are a favorite of gardeners and pollinators alike for their bright yellow blooms. Coreopsis lanceolata, commonly called lanceleaf coreopsis occurs in prairies, glades, fields and roadsides all over Ohio. The daisy-like flowers of this coreopsis produce small, black seeds, giving it the nickname “lanceleaf tickseed.” Coreopsis thrive in dry soils and reseed quickly.

The genus name comes from the Greek words koris meaning "bug" and opsis meaning "like" in reference to the shape of the seed which resembles a bug or tick. Specific epithet means lance-shaped.

Ohio Spiderwort

Ohio Spiderwort

Common Name: Ohio Spiderwort
Scientific Name: Tradescantia ohiensis 
Family: Commelinaceae
Bloom Time: May – June
Bloom Description: Deep blue to rose blue
Native Range: Eastern and central North America
Height: 2-3 feet
Spread: About 2 feet
Use: Naturalized areas, meadows, borders, open spaces of the woodland garden 

Tradescantia ohiensis can grow up to three feet tall, with bluish-green, grass-like leaves and showy blue flowers that open for a single day each. Ohio Spiderwort is commonly found in prairies, wood margins, meadows, along roadsides, or in ditches.

The genus name honors John Tradescant (1570-1638) and his son John Tradescant (1608-1662), who served as gardeners to Charles I of England. Specific epithet means of Ohio.

Orange Coneflower

Orange Coneflower Common Name: Orange Coneflower
Scientific Name: Rudbeckia fulgida 
Family: Asteraceae
Bloom Time: July-October
Bloom Description: Orange / yellow
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Height: 2-3 feet
Spread: 2-2.5 feet
Use: Naturalized areas, Rain Gardens

Rudbeckia fulgida flourishes in both dry and moist soils in open woods, glades and thickets, and is one of the most common types of rudbeckia occurring in North America. The flowers are attractive to butterflies and other insect pollinators, making this coneflower an attractive choice for gardeners. Birds eat the seeds.

Genus name honors Olof Rudbeck (1630-1702), a Swedish botanist and founder of the Uppsala Botanic Garden in Sweden. Specific epithet means shining or glistening.

Ox-eye Sunflower

Ox eye sunflower

Common NameOx-eye Sunflower
Scientific Name: Heliopsis helianthoides 
Family: Asteraceae
Bloom Time: July-September
Bloom Description: Orange-yellow rays with brown center disks
Native Range: Central and eastern North America
Height: 3-6 feet
Spread: 2-4 feet
Use: Perennial borders, cutting gardens, prairies, wild gardens  

Heliopsis helianthoides, commonly called ox-eye sunflower or ox-eye daisy, is an upright plant with sunflower-like blooms that attracts butterflies. Plants in the genus Heliopsis are both similar in appearance to and closely related to those in the genus Helianthus, the true sunflower. Heliopsis is sometimes commonly called false sunflower.

Genus name comes from the Greek words helios meaning the sun and opsis meaning resembling in allusion to the rayed yellow flower heads. Specific epithet means resembling the genus Helianthus.

Partridge Pea

Partridge pea

Common Name: Partridge Pea
Scientific Name: Chamaecrista fasciculata 
Family: Fabaceae
Bloom Time: July-September
Bloom Description: Yellow
Native Range: Eastern, central, and southeastern United States
Height: 1-3 feet
Spread: 1-3 feet
Use: Annual, Naturalized areas  

Chamaecrista fasciculate has a large number of common names, including partridge pea, prairie senna, golden cassia, large-flowered sensitive pea, sleeping plant, and locust weed. This showy flower is an annual, meaning that each plant grows for only one year, and the plant spreads by self-seeding. The leaves of the Partridge Pea usually fold together when touched. The leaves are also sensitive to daylight, folding their leaflets in late afternoon as the sun begins to set. Chamaecrista fasciculate provides cover for partridges and other low-landing birds, and is a nectar source for bees and butterflies.

Genus name come from the Greek words chamae meaning low growth and crista meaning crested. Specific epithet means banded or bundled nerve fibers in reference to the sensitivity of the leaflets.

Purple Coneflower Purple Coneflower - Echinacea purpurea

Common Name: Purple Coneflower 
Scientific Name: Echinacea purpurea 
Family: Asteraceae
Bloom Time: June-October
Bloom Description: Purplish pink
Native Range: Eastern North America
Height: 2-5 feet
Spread: 1.5-2 feet
Use: Naturalized areas, meadows

Echinacea purpurea, commonly called purple coneflower course herbaceous perennial that is native to moist prairies, meadows and open woods of the central to southeastern United States. Echinacia are extremely adaptable plants, tolerant of drought, heat, humidity and poor soil. Their flower stems dry out in winter but remain erect, and goldfinches and purple finches tend to visit them in to feed on the seeds during the harsh months.

Genus name of Echinacea comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog or sea-urchin in reference to the spiny center cone found on most flowers in the genus. Specific epithet means purple.

Smooth Penstemon


Common Name: Smooth Penstemon
Scientific Name: Penstemon digitalis 
Family: Plantaginaceae
Bloom Time: May – July
Bloom Description: White
Native Range: Eastern and southeastern United States
Size: 3-5 feet tall
Spread: 1.5-2 feet wide
Use: Naturalized areas, sunny borders, wild gardens, native plant gardens 

Penstemon digitalis can grow up to five feet tall, making it one of the taller flowering native plants in Ohio. Lance-shaped or oblong leaves open in the springtime, with two-lipped, tubular flowers blooming in panicles in mid-spring or early summer.
The genus name comes from the Greek words penta meaning five and stemon meaning stamen, as each flower has five stamens.  

The specific name comes from the Latin digitus, meaning finger, as the flowers look like the fingers of a glove.

Wild Petunia

Wild petunia

Common Name: Wild Petunia
Scientific Name: Ruellia humilis
Family: Acanthaceae
Bloom Time: June-August
Bloom Description: Lavender/lilac-blue
Height: 1.5-2 feet
Spread: 1.5-2 feet
Native Range: Eastern and central United States
Use: Borders, rock gardens, native plant gardens, wild gardens, prairies

Ruellia humilis, commonly called wild petunia, is notable for its showy lilac-blue flowers with five rounded lobes on each bloom. The wild petunia is a source of food source for Buckeye butterfly larvae, along with several other types of caterpillars.

This genus name honors Jean de la Ruelle (1474-1537), who served as an herbalist and physician to Francois I, king of France.
Specific epithet means low-growing or dwarfish.

Scarlet Beebalm

Scarlet Beebalm

Scientific Name: Monarda didyma 
Family: Lamiaceae
Bloom Time: June-August
Bloom Description: Red
Native Range: Canada, United States
Height: 2-4 feet
Spread: 2-3 feet
Use: borders, cottage gardens, wild gardens, native plant gardens, meadows, herb gardens

Monarda didyma is known by several common names including bee balm, Oswego tea and wild bergamot. Beebalm native to eastern North America where it typically occurs in thickets, along streams, and in moist woody areas. A member of the mint family, beebalm emits a minty fragrance when its leaves are crushed or bruised. It’s extremely attractive to bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies, particularly in masses.

Genus name honors Nicholas Monardes (1493-1588), physician and botanist of Seville. Specific epithet from Latin means in pairs in reference to the plant stamens being in pairs.

Wild Bergamot

Wild Bergamot

Scientific Name: Monarda fistulosa 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Lamiaceae
Bloom Time: July-August
Bloom Description: Pink/lavender
Native Range: North America
Height: 2-4 feet
Spread: 2-3 feet
Use: Naturalized areas, herb, rain gardens

Monarda fistulosa, commonly called wild bergamot, is a clump-forming member of the mint family, similar in appearance to scarlet beebalm. Its lavender blooms have very aromatic foliage, which may assist in attracting pollinators. Wild Bergamot is a favorite of butterflies, bees and hummingbirds, and is one of the host plants of the Raspberry pyrausta butterfly. The toothed, aromatic, oblong, grayish-green leaves may be used in teas.

Genus name honors Nicholas Monardes (1493-1588), physician and botanist of Seville. Specific epithet means hollow like a pipe.

Wild Quinine 

Wild Quinine-Parthenium integrifolium

Common Name: Wild Quinine
Scientific Name: Parthenium integrifolium 
Family: Asteraceae
Bloom Time: July-October
Bloom Description: White
Native Range: Eastern United States to Wisconsin and Arkansas
Height: 2-4 feet
Spread: 1-2 feet
Use: Wild gardens, cottage gardens, naturalized areas, meadows, prairies

Parthenium integrifolium, commonly called American feverfew or wild quinine, is a clump-forming native perennial which occurs in dry soils on prairies, glades and rocky woods. They’re notable for their flat-topped, wooly corymbs, or groups of florets. Notable for their fragrant leaves.

The genus name Parthenium comes from the Greek meaning "virgin", in reference to the fertile ray florets and infertile disk florets of species in this genus. The specific epithet integrifolium means "with entire or uncut leaves".

Non-Native Plants:

Ox-Eye Daisy

Ox Eye Daisy

Common Name: Ox-Eye Daisy
Scientific Name: Leucanthemum vulgare
Family: Asteraceae
Bloom Time: June-August
Bloom Description: White rays with yellow center disk
Height: 1-3 feet
Native range: Europe and the temperate regions of Asia
Use: Naturalized areas, meadows, wild gardens, perennial borders, cottage gardens

Leucanthemum vulgare, commonly known as oxeye daisy or marguerite, is native to Europe but has naturalized throughout North America. Ox-eye daisies are an invasive species, in part because of their ability to produce thousands of seeds per plant. Ox-eye daisies bloom all summer long, and feature thin, spiked foliage.

Genus name comes from the Greek leukos meaning white and anthemum meaning flower in reference to the white flowers of some species. Specific epithet means common.