2019 Monarch Update!
August Article- Magical Monarchs in Minnesota
Did you know that the monarch happens to be our state butterfly? It’s true! That iconic orange and black butterfly is hard to miss and easy to identify for most people. Because it is so iconic, this species helps bring awareness to issues facing many pollinator species that normally would go unnoticed by the public. It sort of like our “canary in a coal mine.”

You might have seen news clips over the years detailing the decline of the monarch's population. The sagging numbers are, in part, due to the loss of habitat and the drop in milkweed plant species cover in their historic range. Generally, this has to do with increasing agriculture and land development. Many government and private organizations are now encouraging homeowners to plant more milkweed and other native plant species. Even small patches of native plants in the metro area act as havens for all sorts of pollinators and butterflies.
Pollinator/Insect of the Month!
Milkweed Tussock Moth
( Euchaetes egle )

Monarchs aren't the only species that use milkweed for their larval host plant. Many people see these fuzzy caterpillars on milkweed and wonder what they are. These are the larval stage of the Milkweed Tussock Moth, or the Milkweed Tiger Moth. It develops into a light grayish brown moth that has a range throughout the eastern half of the United States. The caterpillar's coloration is a warning to predators, like bats, that they taste bad and are to be avoided. Some might worry that these moths compete with monarch caterpillars but they are a native species too. We should plant even more milkweed for all the numerous species that use it to enjoy!
Retail Nursery News!

Our Retail Nursery is closed for the season but our plants are still available!

Call or email our Greenhouse Manager Jill for plant orders.


For more information:
Non-native Species of the Month- Tropical Milkweed
( Asclepias curassavica)

Tropical milkweed is a popular milkweed for garden enthusiasts due to its shorter stature, brilliant blooms, and because it doesn't spread rhizomatously like some milkweed plants. Monarch adults do lay eggs on this milkweed and the caterpillars do use it as a host plant. However, it is not native and some studies suggest it can cause problems for Monarchs, including contracting parasites and confusion about their migration routes. Some experts say that if you do want to use it in Minnesota, to cut it back in October. We suggest using Milkweed native to this region.

Native Plant of the Month-
Swamp Milkweed
( Asclepias incarnata )

Swamp Milkweed has beautiful pink flowers that not only attract Monarchs (that use the plant to lay their eggs), but countless other species of insects, including many different species of native bees. It prefers moist soils, grows 3-4 feet, and blooms from June-September. It has narrower leaves than most milkweed species, making it easy to identify. Like other milkweed species, the flowers form into seed pods that break open, releasing seeds that are carried off by a stiff breeze. Monarch caterpillars use this plant as a host and eat the leaves to become unpalatable to predators.
Five Plants For...Adult Monarchs!
Plant Milkweed Species for Monarch Caterpillars, but Plant these Species for Adults!
Mystery Plant of the Month!
This month's Mystery Plant is a pollinator favorite! Here's a hint- leaves are in whorls around the stem!
Can you guess what it is?
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