Look tasty? Monarchs think so

Object of the Month: 08/2017

What is it?:

Orange milkweed
Asclepias tuberosaButterfly food
Butterfly foodCourtesy SMM


Age: July 20, 2003
Where was it collected:

Collected in Wadena County by Richard Oehlenschlager
Species ranges from Ontario to Texas


Calling all Monarch butterflies. The buffet is now open!

This is the time of year when orange milkweed flowers in Minnesota and becomes an attractive feeding spot for Monarchs and other butterflies.

Like other milkweeds, it has a strong fragrance. It grows from underground tubers for many years. Also known as butterfly weed, it is very visible in sunny open areas such as roadsides and grasslands on sandy or gravel soils. The orange color has faded on this specimen.

And like all other milkweeds it is a larval food plant of Monarchs. 

Lunch time: A Monarch munches on sonne milkweed.
Lunch time: A Monarch munches on sonne milkweed.Courtesy Butterfly Lucy

Fully in bloom
Fully in bloomCourtesy SMM