Milkweed Nature Study- Start a Year Long Study

Showy Milkweed May 2013 Yosemite National Park

The beginning of our seasonal milkweed study started actually back in May when we visited Yosemite National Park. This would have been our official spring observation and it was just starting to grow and be recognizable. The soft long leaves of the Showy Milkweed were a grey-green color and we did actually see some flower buds forming.

Showy Milkweed Information on CalFlora.
Showy Milkweed on USDA Plants – pdf

Here is the link to the challenge and printable notebook page: Seasonal Milkweed Study.

Showy Milkweed at Yosemite National Park – Half Dome

I couldn’t resist stopping during our bike ride to capture some milkweed with Half Dome in the background. No better spot to observe milkweed could there be in the entire world.

We didn’t observe any insects on the milkweed yet but I anticipate seeing some Milkweed beetles when we visit in a few weeks. If there are blossoms there may even be some monarch butterflies fluttering by.

In our local area I only know of one spot where there is milkweed naturally. I did attempt to grow some milkweed last year again but the roofers knocked my pot off the deck when they were replacing our roof. I almost cried. I need to get some more seeds and try again!

Milkweed Seeds from ButterflyEncounters.com – I have purchased from them before and have been very happy with the quality of the seeds.
Live Monarch – Free seeds (pay postage)

I need to start a nature journal page to record my seasonal milkweed study. For now, I have the photos printed and will add them before we complete our summer observations.

Have you found some milkweed in your area?

Comments

  1. We have loads growing in our front yard, it started growing 2-3 years ago and there’s more each year : )

  2. I planted milkweed from seeds maybe 3 or 4 years ago. I had 2 plants that sprouted and now I have tons. It really takes over. Unfortunately I’ve never seen a monarch butterfly near or on it and none of my plants have produced the characteristic pods in the fall. But oh my, are the flowers beautiful and the scent rivals lilac!

  3. Linda,
    What state do you live in and what kind/color of milkweed did you plant?

    Just curious because mine didn’t seem very hearty.

    I would love to smell your flowers!

  4. I live in central IL and planted common milkweed, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Asclepiascommon.JPG that I ordered online. I had hoped I could find plants but none of the garden stores or nurseries had any. If the wind is blowing in the right direction I can smell the flowers from a distance. Absolutely heavenly!

    While we’ve never seen Monarchs or their larva we do see lots of milkweed beetles http://www4.uwm.edu/fieldstation/naturalhistory/bugoftheweek/red-milkweed-beetle.cfm which are fun to watch.

  5. I absolutely love the picture of milkweed with half dome in the background. You are right. No other picture of milkweed can ever compare!

  6. The picture of milkweed with Half Dome in the background is amazing! You are right- there could be no better place on earth to observe milkweed!

  7. I just came across this site while checking what might cause yellow leaves with green veins. There is a section that has eating a cooked part of the milkweed and was wondering if you have tried this?
    Found at; http://www.eatcology.com/Milkweed-fritters#more-2320

    I really enjoy your studies and we are usually behind due to location and climate. Love your pictures and comments. Thanks for your hard work.

  8. We have planted milkweed in the front yard. It’s a great plant. The butterflies love it. And even the hummingbirds drink the nectar from it! It has loads of different insects on it, including milkweed assassin bugs. We got one monarch, but unfortunately her eggs did not survive. I checked after she was there, and she definitely applied eggs. They just didn’t make it. Something ate them.

    In order to keep it from becoming weedy, I don’t let many of the seed pods open. I grab them and toss them.

  9. I agree, the photo of the Showy Milkweed at Yosemite National Park with the Half Dome in the background is spectacular.

  10. I agree with Michelle, the photo of the Showy Milkweed at Yosemite National Park with the Half Dome in the background is absolutely stunning!

  11. ooh Cristy, Please dont toss them. Donate them to one of the many seed saving site…..The Butterfly Lady (can be found on Facebook) has a seed swap and several Monarch sites also collect them to distribute around.

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