Milkweed for (Monarch)Butterflies

  Here is a Monarch Butterfly laying eggs on Common Milkweed.  Milkweed is a host plant for their Caterpillars.

It's that time of year when one can find Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, seed pods.
Tiny baby Monarch caterpillar.
Lots of seeds in each pod, arranged like a cone!
Up- CLOSE.  Note the hairs on the Milkweed leaf.
What a lovely flower!

All the seed tufts are lined up ready to fluff up and fly away on the wind.
As you can see, the bees like it too. 

A little fairy who will become a plant.  :)
It has a divine fragrance, particularly at night.  It fills the air.  Bliss.

Here's a big patch in my garden.  It spreads, so give it space to grow...

There are many other types of Milkweeds.  Here is another:  Asclepias tuberosa.

As you can see, other Butterflies like Milkweeds too.  Here is a Great Spangled Fritillary, Speyeria cybele.

Both of these two Milkweeds, Asclepias syriaca and tuberosa, are native to Eastern North America.
Tuberosa is much smaller and less aggressive growing than syriaca - and what a show!

There are other plants the Monarchs like to get nectar from, such as this Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia, but the Milkweed is important for their caterpillars.
If you have space in your yard or garden and some some sunlight, grow a patch for the Monarchs; they need our help.
Nom nom.

A delight for the yard and garden.  An ally of mine from childhood on...

...and helps the bees too!

To top all this goodness off, the tufts are also used by birds to line their nests, the fibrous stems are used in rope-making, and the Milkweed shoots, flower buds, and pods are edible!  (Be sure to only harvest flower buds and pods in areas where they are very plentiful as this is how the plant reproduces; you are eating hundreds of seeds with each flower head or pod).

Every yard should have a patch - then we would not have to be concerned with the Monarch going extinct.  They are making a comeback; support them today!  and enjoy the bounty that comes along....

For more information and to get seeds see this link and this link and this link and this link.  Enjoy!

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