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.No, these are the wild native milkweed, the kind that monarch butterflies use for reproduction. Some pictures of them in former (better) years:
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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.
glad to see and hear that things are ok there.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.)