|Milkweeds in my monarch way station #5687|
I do not know why milkweed gets left out when gardeners readily buy non-native butterfly bushes, which can't sustain any native butterfly larvae. So here are five milkweeds that are beautiful, native to the northeast, easy to grow and both swamp and butterfly weed are readily available at most local nurseries here north of Boston. And remember: milkweed is the only plant monarch caterpillars can eat. You have no more excuses. Go out and plant one of these natives this spring:
BUTTERFLY WEED: Asclepias tuberosa
|"Hello Yellow" butterfly weed|
SWAMP MILKWEED: Asclepias incarnata
|Ice ballet swamp milkweed|
The native form of this plant has a pink flower, but there is a cultivar called Ice Ballet that is white. I have both in my garden and have found monarch eggs on both colors. Swamp milkweed gets about 36" to 48" tall, prefers part to full sun and can tolerate standing water. Yet, the name is a bit of a misnomer, once established it's actually completely drought tolerant as well.