Milkweed flowers wilting.

SPedigrees

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Yikes! Look at those teeth! I'll probably freak out the next time one of them bites me!

Carol, I think of it as evolution rather than hijacking. No, sadly the milkweed blossoms faded very early on and we never had the glorious expanse of pink blooms as in previous years. I'm thinking it must be some kind of pest that destroyed them from the inside out on our property. In other areas, several miles from our house, the milkweed is in full bloom. I hope this affliction doesn't spread. The seed pods on our milkweed plants look normal, but it remains to be seen if they yield the usual profusion of fluffy parachutes.
 

flowerbug

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No, these are the wild native milkweed, the kind that monarch butterflies use for reproduction. Some pictures of them in former (better) years:
View attachment 27483

View attachment 27484

Thank you very much for the kind offer of seeds, but I'm sort of afraid of the other varieties, since I've heard that monarchs attempt to lay their eggs on these plants and the caterpillars do not survive. I expect that this year both the milkweed and monarch populations are going to be suffering here. Seed production as seen above won't be happening this year.

I'm hoping that this wilting disease will run its course and the milkweed will bounce back.
the other day Mom came in and mentioned a lot of caterpillars were on a plant and wanted to show it to me. so we went out and it was a ton of monarch butterfly larvae on the tuberosa. i didn't take a picture then, but they'd really chomped on those plants. today i went out with the camera to see if there were still around and there was one large one chomping away so i did try to take some pictures of that one.

i was so glad to see them, it's been a while since i'd seen them.

i also looked up the varieties of milkweed species monarchs can use as food and the tuberosa is fine for them. :)

there were a few very tiny ones nearby, but i didn't have enough gumption today to do much for them. if they are there tomorrow i'll try to move some of the smaller ones to a few of the plants out back which have a lot more foliage left so they can chomp away out there. they're cute lil buggers. :)
 

SPedigrees

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That's wonderful about all the monarch caterpillars. They seem to be making a resurgence here as well. This video taken a couple days ago show my Joe Pyeweed flowers a flutter with dozens of monarchs. It makes me happy to see so many of them, probably fueling up for the migration south.


Whatever went wrong with the milkweed flowers this summer apparently did not hinder either its own or the butterflies' reproduction, because monarchs abound and there are tons of seed pods on all the milkweed stems. I guess I worried unnecessarily.

(Monarch butterflies can feed on a variety of flowering plants. It is only for reproduction that they require the wild milkweed plants.)
 

valley ranch

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flowerbug

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Have you noticed the whiskers on the top two are longer on the right side and the left lower whiskers are longer on the bottom one ```
look at which ways the jaws are overlapping... i think that is it... some of the ladies are righties and others are lefties. :)
 

flowerbug

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That's wonderful about all the monarch caterpillars. They seem to be making a resurgence here as well. This video taken a couple days ago show my Joe Pyeweed flowers a flutter with dozens of monarchs. It makes me happy to see so many of them, probably fueling up for the migration south.


Whatever went wrong with the milkweed flowers this summer apparently did not hinder either its own or the butterflies' reproduction, because monarchs abound and there are tons of seed pods on all the milkweed stems. I guess I worried unnecessarily.

(Monarch butterflies can feed on a variety of flowering plants. It is only for reproduction that they require the wild milkweed plants.)
glad to see and hear that things are ok there. :)

i wonder if they have a chance for another generation yet in VT, but i'm not sure when your first really cold weather shows up?
 

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