Milkweed for Monarchs
Sustainable Wellesley is helping residents do their part to support the Monarch butterfly – by sourcing milkweed for you to put in your yard. Monarch populations are crashing and one reason is the lack of milkweed that Monarch caterpillars must eat to survive. Milkweed is a beautiful pink and white plant that attracts even more beautiful butterflies to your home!
Monarchs can produce four generations during one summer. After overwintering in the oyamel forests of central Mexico the first three generations have life spans of two to six weeks and keep moving north. During this time they will mate and have the next generation that will continue the northward migration. The fourth generation is different and can live up to nine months, and this is the one that needs to find milkweed in your yard. These are also the butterflies that will migrate south for winter to either Mexico or southern California.
Monarch numbers have plummeted…
…by 90 percent in recent years from both the loss of its overwintering grounds, and from the widespread elimination of milkweed in the United States by the use of herbicides like Roundup. This is where you come in: by planting milkweed in your (herbicide-free, pesticide-free) yard you provide the vital link in the Monarch lifecycle. Each year Sustainable Wellesley sources the correct species of milkweed for eastern Massachusetts (Asclepias incarnata, and/or tuberosa, and/or syriaca) and makes them available to heroes like you.
All orders are for LOCAL PICKUP ONLY
Milkweed Plug (Aclepius Incarnata)
A large, bright, showy, 2-4 ft. herbaceous perennial native to North America. Grows naturally in damp to wet soils but will do well in well-drained soils. This garden plant attracts butterflies and other pollinators. Clusters of pink flowers in June and July.
The large, bright, terminal blossoms of this showy, 2-4 ft. perennial are made up of small, rose-purple flowers. Deep pink flowers clustered at the top of a tall, branching stem, bearing numerous narrow, lanceolate leaves. Opposite, narrow, lance-shaped leaves line the erect, open-branched stem. Elongated, tan-brown seed pods persist into winter.
The juice of this wetland milkweed is less milky than that of other species. The genus was named in honor of Aesculapius, Greek god of medicine, undoubtedly because some species have long been used to treat a variety of ailments. The Latin species name means flesh-colored.