Join the Los Rios Park Garden Angels, No Wings Required.

On any given hot summer day, the colorful native gardens at the Montanez Adobe in the Los Rios Park are the headquarters to flittering beneficial pollinators, soaking up the sunrays and drinking nectar from the flowers.

As you meander through the pathways you will be greeted by a variety of local Orange County butterflies that have made their way to a new home at the park. Thanks to the dedicated Los Rios Park Garden Angel volunteers, an organization started in 2009 have tended to the habitats every Thursday morning while caring and maintaining the thriving gardens.

Sadly, the butterfly populations are on the decline worldwide due to many reasons, some to loss of habitats and most from usage of pesticides and insecticides. One thing is certain the butterfly populations in our beloved Los Rios Park are on the rise. The Garden Angels have taken up this plight to strengthen our local pollinators by distinguishing the fauna and flora to benefit their declining population through the North American Butterfly Association.

In 2013 the park received recognition as a certified North America Butterfly Association (NABA) approved garden. In order to be a NABA certified butterfly garden the park needed to provide a minimum of 12 host and nectar plants from the required plant list to support regional native butterfly habitats. Many of the existing plants in the Los Rios Park were on the list, those plants that weren’t on the list were supplied by Tree of Life Nursery.

The common named plants listed below provide a strong butterfly habitat and are the correct food source to support the growing Orange County butterfly populations at the park. Included below is the list of the butterflies.

By using these plants in your garden pallet, you will help in the plight of the butterfly recovery and can gain a NABA certificate of your own. For more info

Host and Nectar :Plants, Shrubs, Trees and Vines:

  • CA Buckwheat

  • Golden ,White and Red Yarrow

  • CA Native Milkweed

  • Tropical Milkweed

  • Budlea butterfly bush

  • Toyon

  • Bush Mallow

  • Hollyhocks

  • CA Poppies

  • Passion vine

  • Ceanothus

  • Coffee Berry

  • Yellow Cassia

  • Bush Sunflower

  • Mistletoe

  • Sycamore

  • Holly Leaf Cherry

  • Coast Live Oak

Los Rios Park Butterflies

  • Monarchs

  • Mourning Cloak

  • Cloudless sulphurs

  • Yellow sulphurs

  • Anise swallowtail

  • White checkered skippers

  • Gulf fritillary

Creating a butterfly garden or caring for one is one step you can make this winter to get started and make a difference. Would you like to learn more about butterfly gardens and caring for their habitats? The Los Rios Garden Angels Volunteers are in need of more volunteers to help tend to the gardens on Thursdays. No garden experience is needed, you will be trained. Volunteer application is required as are gloves and closed toe shoes. For more details contact If you would like to create a garden of your own visit Tree of Life Nursery for workshops, plants and landscape consultants to help you.

This summer Los Rios Park will celebrate the return of the Monarch butterflies, We welcome you to join us this winter at the Los Rios Park to help prepare for their arrival. More details to follow this spring. See you at the park.

Anna Taylor