by Donna Lewis
I wanted to show you what milkweed is growing on our property here in Central Texas. The biggest issue is that some of these plants came up very late in the year and by now, all the monarchs have already left the area. That is not too good.
Hopefully, this does not start becoming normal. The plants are reacting to the climate, but the monarchs are reacting to their instincts. The plants and the butterflies need to be ready at the same time.
The first photo is Asclepias asperula or Spider Milkweed. This plant was awarded by a grant to our chapter. Our member Cathy Johnson applied for the grant. It was a lot of paperwork.
I started with twenty-four small plants. I put them in several areas around our pastures.
This is the only one that has returned this year. The rest did not come up.
Photo #2 is the seed pod on the plant, which is about to let loose its seeds.
Photo #3 shows the same plant in our back pasture.
Photo#4 This is another area where we had the plants return for two years, but not this year. There were gophers under the plant. I guess they were hungry.
Photo#5 This shows Zizotes Milkweed on our gravel drive where they just came up on their own. Volunteers for sure. There are three plants near our backdoor.
#6 This is another Zizotes in the pasture that just showed up.
#7 Another Zizotes in a different part of the pasture.
#8 Tropical Milkweed in my garden. This needed to be bigger before now. Tropical milkweed is from Mexico.
You’re too late, milkweed plants. The last monarch I saw here on our property was on 5-17-2022. You can see where the monarchs are by viewing Journey North, monarchs’ migration. It is a great site.
We will have to pay attention and see what happens to both the milkweed and the monarchs over the next few years.
Still, we need to keep on planting the native milkweed to try to help out.