Meet The Milkweeds

I always look forward to the arrival of a few Monarch Butterflies, so they will lay some eggs on the Milkweed and we can have our own hatch back here in the woods. They were really slow to show up this year, I had about given up..but one did and she laid some eggs! Chance will show you!

I tried to get him to use his nose as a pointer..hey he isn’t perfect but we are in the ballpark! This plant is located at the edge of my garage, it is a Swamp Milkweed or Asclepias incarnata ‘Ice Ballet’

 

The caterpillars are eating and growing.. I have really enjoyed watching them. The more Milkweed you have ..the more larvae you will be able to support. Yes, they eat the plants leaves..yes the plants don’t look so great after awhile. We used to ask our customers..with or without? Some would look puzzled..then we would point out the Caterpillars.. most people wanted to take larvae home on their plant..others insisted on plants without "those creepy crawly bugs. " It was one way to separate the Conservationists from the non conservation minded people. Milkweed is the ONLY source of food for the larval stage of the Monarch butterfly..

This is Asclepias incarnata also but a pink variety. It might be ‘Cinderella’ or it may be just a seedling variation. Sorry it is still in the bud stage, I wanted it to bloom, but it is being a real slow poke.

Asclepias tuberosa or Butterfly Weed..I love the vibrant orange color. This plant never gets as many larvae on it. I am not sure why, it may have something to do with the levels of the toxins in their sappy milk. I read once where it varies from plant to plant, and the butterflies know where to lay their eggs for the best results for their offspring.

Common Milkweed or Asclepias syriaca, this is the one that you will see in Minnesota in the ditches..and in large wildflower plantings. It is a very heavy tropical looking plant.

I love the flowers..the unique structure of the hoods and horns ..or more commonly known as a crown..or a star shaped crown ..call it what you want it is a unique flower. On a unique plant, with one unique purpose..to be food for a colorful larvae that becomes a beautiful butterfly.  Minnesota has thirteen different kinds of Milkweeds, I have only shown you four that are found in my neck of the woods:)

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3 Responses to Meet The Milkweeds

  1. TechnoBabe says:

    You have a great sense of humor. I bet it was fun buying plants from you when your business was open. “With or without”. Hahahaha. The photo of the caterpillar is so clear and sharp. Wonderful colors huh.

  2. buffalo gal says:

    I have some new words to a well known song:
    “On the ninth day of Christmas my True Love gave to me…..Nine Milkweeds milking, 8 swans a -swimming,”…….etc.

  3. remrafdn says:

    This woman is hilarious! I’m sure Caitlyn will love the pictures. I sure did, but I think I liked the verbiage better! Cherry

    Subject: Far Side of Fifty