Caption: Monarch butterflies showed physiological effects of road salting when caterpillars, like the one shown here on a milkweed
, fed on plants that picked up extra sodium.
The study found that one of the major factors leading to greater milkweed biomass (or growth) is the production of volatile compounds called sesquiterpenes, which attract such predators as aphid-eating ladybugs.
At the same time, milkweed species that put more energy into growing faster put less energy into resisting such pests as aphids.
to kill the thistles and milkweeds
and dandelions before they make seeds
Milkweed produces four different edible products, and all of them are delicious.
There is a beautiful patch of milkweed in an old hayfield near my house.
There are conflicting data in the literature concerning whether particular milkweeds are clonal.
viridis falls within the typical range of <5% for other milkweeds that have been studied (Moore 1947; Woodson 1954; Willson and Rathcke 1974; Wyatt 1976, 1980, 1981; Lynch 1977; Willson and Price 1977, 1980; Stephenson 1981; Chaplin and Walker 1982; Queller 1985; Shannon and Wyatt 1986; Wyatt and Shannon 1986; Wyatt and Broyles 1990, 1994; Wyatt et al.
Orange-and-black monarchs dart and waver over North American summer landscapes coast to coast and as far north as Canada, seeking milkweed
plants as sites for laying eggs.
Butterfly weed and other milkweeds
are the preferred food to monarch butterflies.
But the toxicity of an individual monarch depends on the variety of milkweed
it ate as a caterpillar, Brower says.
dies, surviving butterflies begin their long, unwavering flights back to the sheltered groves that safeguarded their ancestors.