Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland

Monday, August 17, 2015

Milkweed and Monarchs


 

 
 

 
 
Common milkweed is a pretty plant with fragrant globe shaped flowers on upright three foot tall stems. Famed as a plant that attracts butterflies, this wildflower is a must-have for the butterfly garden. It is the host for monarch butterfly caterpillars. Monarch butterflies deposit their eggs on milkweed plants; once the caterpillars emerge, they eat the leaves. The larvae (caterpillars) of monarch butterflies eat ONLY milkweed. I have this "common milkweed" variety in my garden, but the "butterfly weed" variety of milkweed is shorter and has flat clusters of orange flowers and is also a great addition to a wildflower or butterfly garden.
Monarch populations are endangered, but we can all help by planting butterfly gardens that include a variety of milkweed and butterfly weed plants. To get your own milkweed seeds, go to
www.livemonarch.com and plant a butterfly garden.