Milkweeds are well known as the host plant for Monarch butterflies. It is also an nectar source for many, many other insects. This summer I have spent a lot of time in my garden monitoring my milkweed for Monarch caterpillars (none so far.) The rewards for that effort has been witnessing a host of other amazing "bugs" in my yard and garden.
|Giant Swallowtail nectars on my garden Milkweed patch.|
This Giant Swallowtail butterfly was very fresh, nary a mar or mark upon it. It must have recently eclosed from its chysalis. As a caterpillar this swallowtail probably fed upon the Prickley-ash in my yard. By offering both host and nectar plants, my opportunities for butterfly watching and photography are greatly increased. Watching one of these seven inch large butterflies never gets old!
|The Banded Hairsteak quietly goes about its business.|
|Death trap to bees.|
What are you finding on your milkweed plants?
If you are interested in learning more about milkweeds or pollinators, I highly recommend the Midwest Native Plant Conference. You will hear extremely knowledgeable speakers from all across Ohio and beyond.
One of my favorite resources for milkweed and pollinator information is Bob Klips of OSU. Please check out this link on Bob's Brain on Botany. Bob is also a speaker at this year's MWNP conference. See you in Dayton!