Milkweed For Butterflies

Antelope horn milkweed, native plants

General Information

Here are some pictures of Monarch caterpillars eating the native Antelope Horn milkweed. I avoid the plants with the lawn mower. Spring mowing doesn’t happen till the blue bonnets have seeded and the Monarch butterflies have finished eating the milkweed.

Pros

Native Texan plant that is a food for the migrating Monarch butterfly. Favorite of honey bees, bumblebees and other pollinators. Needs no care.

Cons (if any)

Slow growth, does not propagate easily. Seed pods are vulnerable to beetles. Not as attractive as other butterfly plants. Is considered a weed by many and mowed down before the Monarch butterflies start their migration.

Other Information

I moved about 50 caterpillars last night from one overeaten plant to about 10 others that had no caterpillars on them. They’re eating away on the new plants. Some wandered off; hopefully to cocoon up for their metamorphosis stage.

Comments

Yes, I do this too.
I have milkweed, blue bonnets, yellow buttons, shield fern, many, many other native flowers and weeds at my place. I always inspect the 'lawned' areas and the horse paddocks before mowing or slashing to decide if enough wildflowers have already seeded so it is ok to mow the rest.
If I waited until they all seeded, I'd never get the place mowed.
I've also got a rare spotted native ground orchid which I have notified authorities about but it is up to me to pay for a covenant on a small acreage section of one paddock so the orchid has its natural habitat.
However, that covenant only lasts a few years so if I sell there is no guarantee the area won't get cleared by the new owner, so it's pretty much a waste of money doing it before I sell.
 

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