Asclepias speciosa

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IMG_3576_Milkweed_600.jpg

Asclepias speciosa – showy milkweed, Boulder, Colorado, Sept. 4.

5 Comments

Which reminds me. We have several large patches of milkweeds that we keep for monarch butterflies. This year is the first with zero monarch sightings on them. :(

Richard, this is the first summer I can remember in the last two decades without bats eating insects in the evening skies. Didn’t see one bat this summer, when before I could distinguish different species every night. It makes me deeply sad.

With time, I have been seeing more and more milkweed here, both in the city and in the open space. I do not know whether they are feral (can you say that for plants?) cultivars, but they grow wild in people’s flower beds. Maybe next week I will run a photograph of the flower and someone can tell us. I have seen (and photographed) small milkweed bugs and red milkweed beetles, but nary a monarch butterfly. I am still looking for a large milkweed bug and a blue milkweed beetle, but mostly the plants seem pest-free.

Is that a stop-action shot of an “exploding” seed pod, or have the seeds just gently “fluffed out”?

Scott F said:

Is that a stop-action shot of an “exploding” seed pod, or have the seeds just gently “fluffed out”?

They gently fluff out.

I have three large plants of the Asclepias curassavica variety. We usually have about 3 monarchs in our backyard at any given time, and you can usually find a caterpillar or two eating on the plants. Every once in a while, the butterflies will lay eggs all at once and the plants will be covered with caterpillars. In less than two weeks, they will completely strip the plants of leaves, flowers and even eat the outside of the seed pods. It is kind of creepy. There will be enough caterpillar crap on the walkway underneath that you need to be careful where you step. The plants will bounce back in just a couple weeks.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on September 9, 2013 12:00 PM.

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