The Amazing Monarch

One minute and twenty three seconds of beauty and awesomeness from our friend, David Newsome–and his friends, the monarch butterflies. David made this all himself, the voice-over, the cool time-lapse photography, everything. It’s an act of love.

David, I promise to plant native milkweed!

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  1. Until I scrolled down, I presumed this was a post about Obama. Thanks for the pretty surprise (and yes, I suppose I should cut back on the political blogs).

  2. In some places the local authorities deem the native milkweed to be a noxious weed. If you let it grow on your property, they will send you a nasty letter requiring you to remove it. If you don’t comply, city workers will do the job for you and the resulting, exorbitant labor bill will be added to your property tax.

    • Sigh…. Well, if one lives in such a place, there are more decorative relatives of the milkweed, like Asclepias curassavica. They’re not as good for the butterflies as the native milkweed, but better than nothing. And if you can’t serve the monarchs directly with milkweed, you can serve the many other pollinators by having a flower-ful garden, with as many flowering natives as you can handle.

    • That is…startling! 🙁 I highly recommend Asclepias curassavica. It’s actually a pretty attractive plant, and monarchs do love it. I live in MN and grow it as a container annual. Along with native common milkweed and Asclepias Incarnata, I raised at least 12 monarchs over our short summer (the ones I saw, anyway). Do it do it do it! 😉

    • Thanks Andy, glad to get a report on curassavica from the Great Lakes region.

      I wanted to clarify why I said it was not as good as native milkweed: Here (in LA) it flowers year-round, so encourages the butterflies to linger (loiter?)–whereas the natives have a blooming cycle in tune migration patterns. Where you are, lingering butterflies are just not a problem! So I should have said curassavica is maybe not the best for climates like LA. But even with that downside, it is still food for them, and that is a good thing. And it is really pretty!

      And congrats on your baby monarchs!

  3. Belated thanks, Kelly and Erik! Though I subscribe to RootSimple, I missed this lovely shout out. And yeah, the tropical milkweed, though user friendly, just isn’t worth the issues its creating, from over-wintering Monarchs to parasite-related illness. If you do use it, be sure to hack it back to the ground at the onset of winter

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