Milkweed is a beautiful Perrineal that is the only source of Food and Breeding for the Monarch Butterfly

    Monarch Butterfly

    The Monarch Butterfly’s population has declined by over 95 percent since the 1980s.  The primary breeding plant for the Monarch Butterfly is the Milkweed.  Monarch populations have been greatly reduced by loss of natural Milkweed plants that are the sole food source for the Monarchs. Milkweed is drought tolarant, easy to grow, all season Perennials.
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    Narrow Leaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis)

    Narrow Leaf Milkweeds are the larval host plants for Monarch butterflies, and this species is probably the single most important host plant for Monarch butterflies in California. Milkweed gardeners should be prepared for the plant to be eaten by Monarch caterpillars, but will be rewarded by the presence of beautiful Monarch Butterflies. The plant is deciduous in winter and will sometimes die back to the ground before reviving in the Spring, and is often covered with aphids, so often best to plant in less prominent spots in a garden.
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    Showy Milkweed (Asclepias Speciosa)

    Showy milkweed is native to much of the western half of North America. In California it is found in the Sierras and Coast Ranges, from Tulare County to Modoc and Siskiyou Counties. This flowering plant is a hairy, erect perennial that grows to about 4 feet tall. The large, pointed, banana-like leaves are arranged opposite on the stalk-like stem. The fragrant eye-catching furry pale pink to pinkish-purple flowers are arranged in thick umbels.  Many Native American peoples utilized all parts of this plant for a great number of medicinal uses and ate some parts as a food. Showy Milkweed is popular with birds and insects, notably the Monarch butterfly. Alkaloids inside the plant are picked up by the caterpillars and give them protection by making them taste awful to predators.
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