Gardeners Needed To Assist Rare Butterfly
Wisconsin DNR is looking for gardeners to grow violets and collect the seed!
This is a significant commitment that can make a substantial impact. The grower would need to spend a small amount of time collecting seeds every day or at least every other day throughout the season and devote space in their garden to the violets. Seed collecting starts in June and continues through October. Violets are easy to grow with some gardening experience at your home in the driftless region (western Wisconsin or eastern Iowa/Minnesota). Violets also grow well in large pots/containers like those suitable for growing tomatoes.
The purpose of the seed is to establish violet plants in our plantings to expand host plant habitat for the Wisconsin endangered regal fritillary butterfly (violets in a grassland setting are the only plant larvae eat). Currently, the best populations of violets occur in remnant prairies at the Hogback Prairie State Natural Area. DNR naturalists are connecting these remnants by planting prairie in former agricultural fields that fragment the remnants. They want violets to be a part of these plantings so that the plantings can benefit reproduction and provide an adult food source. Since violet seeds are hard to collect from remnants and easier to collect from gardens, the DNR encourages the public to help grow the plants and collect the seed.
If interested contact the DNR’s State Natural Areas Volunteer Coordinator, Jared Urban at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-228-4349.