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Thread Like Summary
4CornersPuddle, anthropic, jpsdad, RAH, Steve_, teehjaeh57
Total Likes: 22
Original Post (Thread Starter)
by CityDad
CityDad
Hey Ya'll

We are all nature lovers right?

Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed), and other milkweeds

Is absolutely vital to the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly.

Some studies are showing these butterflies are at about 1% of the population it had in the 80s due to loss of habitat.

These flowers are pretty, grow in wet environments, and other types of milkweed grow in dry ground.

https://www.kqed.org/science/197179...rnia-but-they-still-dont-have-protection
If I sent yall some seed packets, would you plant em?
Liked Replies
by neopond
neopond
A couple of years ago I attempted to identify the native plants growing around our pond. With my younger brother's help, we identified dogbane, boneset, joe pye, ironweed, goldenrod, purple aster, white aster and swamp milkweed. During the identification process he strongly recommended allowing the swamp milkweed to propagate for the Monarchs. Now knowing what to look for, sure enough, I was finding a few of the familiar Monarch caterpillars munching the swamp milkweed leaves. And the butterflies extracting nectar from the flowers. So we've had a native growth of the plants for a long time, but I didn't use much discretion when it came to trimming the pond edges. Now I let the swamp milkweed grow and sacrifice it's flora to the Monarchs. My brother also encouraged my propagation of the Joe Pye weed both for aesthetics and for the pollinators.

When the native plants are allowed to grow to 3' and higher, I've found the plants to also act as windbreaks for catching leaves blowing from nearby trees. While I can't prove my theory regarding soil erosion reduction, I suspect that the YI and native plants are reducing the soil wash during heavy downpours. Along with this natural plant barrier, I've started reseeding the yard that's sloped to the pond too. Now if I can just stay on top of the occasional muskrat invasion.... I digress....

So count me in for maintaining and propagating swamp milkweed around the pond. Many small ponds in our area are mowed and maintained right to the water's edge. IMHO, however, I think allowing native plants to grow around the pond has many advantages for the fish, insects and wildlife. Just a matter of personal preference and philosophy. We're blessed to have the pond and if we can manage in a way to help the environment (and native species), it's a win-win.
3 members like this
by RAH
RAH
Illegal logging of overwintering sites in Mexico is well recognized as a significant factor in Monarch butterfly decline. The even larger decline of the western population of monarchs seems to argue against any factor specific to the Midwest. Planting more milkweed seems to be helping, but we simply do not understand why this is happening or how it compares with historic fluctuations over long time intervals.
2 members like this
by CityDad
CityDad
Stringer- it is NOT invasive, it's Native 100%.
Even if you dont get monarchs right away you WILL get other butterflies/moths/pollinators.

RAH- That is awesome. I have big plans for milkweed at the new lake smile Passionflower is also great, and super easy to propogate. I've got 8 that I've harvested into pots ready for planting at the new place frpom the 1 i purchased last spring.
1 member likes this
by esshup
esshup
You can buy the seed from https://www.cardnonativeplantnursery.com/ and maybe plugs if the time of the year is right.

Price sheet:https://www.cardnonativeplantnursery.com/current-inventory-pricing

Look on the first page of the price sheet (you will have to open the PDF). Look for any plant starting with the name Asclepias but if looking for only Swamp Milkweed, look for Asclepias incarnata

There may be other native seed nurseries around but this is the one that I use because it's the closest to me.
1 member likes this
by RAH
RAH
My wife and I continue to plant swamp milkweed near our ponds and wetlands. It has formed nice colonies in some places and does have an attractive flower. I have observed more monarch caterpillars on the swamp milkweed plants compared with the other perennial milkweed species on our place. Our non-hardy tropical milkweed also seems to be very attractive to monarchs and makes a good flower-garden plant. We continue to spread swamp milkweed around. I also found that clay-adapted butterfly weed does very well on our soil (also a milkweed). We probably have about 10,000 milkweed plants on our place (mostly common milkweed), but we need them to be planted all along the migration route, so please help from south to north! https://www.prairienursery.com/butterflyweed-for-clay-asclepias-tuberosa-var-clay.html
1 member likes this
by RAH
RAH
Honey bee die offs are caused by a number of factors including mites and diseases, but yet-unidentified factors may still be involved. Of more concern to me is the reduced populations of native bees like bumble bees. Introducing honey bees (not native to the Americas), has been found to spread diseases to native bees, and honey bees compete with native bees and other native insects for nectar and pollen. Even so, we allow a local bee keeper to house around 10 honey bee hives on our place. We put them far from our vegetable field so they do not compete with the native bees in pollenating our crops. We also have "wild" honey bee hives on our place. Although we are surrounded by row crops, the bee keeper says that his domestic hives on our place are top honey producers. Honey bee apiaries are really a type of high-density confined-livestock operation, and they suffer the same types of disease and parasites that all such operations must deal with.
1 member likes this
by RAH
RAH
TGW1 - All crop herbicides are designed to kill weeds while not harming the crop. Why would one implicate one of the safest and least persistent herbicides (glyphosate) as harming bees, unless you think farmers should grow weeds in their fields (which reduces yield requiring even more wildlife habitat to be converted to farmland)? As an entomologist, it always surprises me how superstitious many beekeepers are. Clearly, hauling honey bee hives all over the place to pollenate crops spreads diseases, but this is required for some crops like almonds and is understandable. Insecticides labels have restrictions to protect bees, especially during flowering times. When the global issue of colony collapse in honey bees first appeared, all types of potential causes were theorized. However, when these problems were also occurring in areas far from where pesticide sprays were being made, it became apparent that these chemicals could not be the cause. BTW - All pesticides are specifically evaluated for honey bee toxicity as part of regulatory requirements for approval.
1 member likes this
by CityDad
CityDad
Thanks, so far 2 takers.
Sent out 2 seed packets each today and I replied to your messages with an article on making sure they germinate.
1 member likes this
by CityDad
CityDad
I think its the same one just stolen from the site i'm buying the seeds from!

Had some more responses this AM so I sent a few more out.

Thanks for teh responses guys! I wasn't sure about posting my affection for butterflies/pollinators here glad to see yall are interested in protecting endangered pollinators.
1 member likes this
by RStringer
RStringer
Thank you Citydad. My seeds came in the mail today. I received 2 packages and will give one to my neighbor. She loves all the butterflies and that type of thing.
Attached Images
1 member likes this
by 4CornersPuddle
4CornersPuddle
Any and all who would like to increase their interest in, and further their understanding of pollinators, please check out Dr. Kirsten Traynor's new quarterly journal "2Million Blossoms", subtitled "protect our pollinators". There are nearly 20 articles in the current addition (Winter 2021).

Both digital and print subscriptions are available. The in-depth articles are well researched, and written by some of the "names" in entomological study. @RAH, we're waiting to see a piece penned by you.

Here are some links:
2MillionBlossoms.com/subscribe
facebook.com/2MBlossoms
instagram.com/2MillionBlossoms
twitter.com/2MBlossoms

Enjoy. I scour the print version with nearly as much focus and enthusiasm as I do our PondBoss magazine.
1 member likes this
by CityDad
CityDad
RAH- Thanks! Great links in there. Found some great bulk pasture seeding from one of those links smile
1 member likes this
by Augie
Augie
It's been snowing most of the day here in Misery.
We're likely to see night time lows in the upper 20s tonight and tomorrow night.
Apple trees are in full bloom, but they won't be after two nights of that.

And just because some of us wear overalls and only have one tooth it doesn't mean that we're primitive.
1 member likes this
by DrLuke
DrLuke
I'm a little late to this thread, but we do love to try and promote butterfly habitat on our place in Iowa. We have been working to spread our common milkweed, and have many clusters of it growing now. We even had some pop up in our sweetcorn patch, which we let slide since they don't take up much space. We noticed this the other day:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Our first sighting of a monarch caterpillar of the season.
1 member likes this
by Augie
Augie
Swamp milkweed is native to most of the US.

You probably have it in your area, just need to look in the places that it grows.

The two in my other pic are just babies - started from seed back in the spring.

This time next year they will look like this one.

[Linked Image from fs.fed.us]
1 member likes this
by Augie
Augie
All of the milkweed here has already gone to seed. In my part of Misery bloom usually starts late July/early August, and lasts for most of August.
By the time September rolls around all that's left is a bunch of dried up seed pods.

I just went out and checked the ones that we planted on the pond dam in 2019, in hopes that I could grab some seed to share.
It has dropped already, but I did find this little guy happily munching away.

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]
1 member likes this
by Augie
Augie
Swamp milkweed seed pod:

[Linked Image from hosting.photobucket.com]
1 member likes this
by scpd21
scpd21
The local greenhouse had swamp milkweed for $1 for a 1 foot size plant so I got 12 and planted them right at the waters edge . . being smaller I don’t know if they’ll survive winter or not
1 member likes this
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