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Showing posts with the label Milkweed

How to Plant and Grow Milkweed

Grow Milkweed Growing Tips Every school child learns about milkweed because this plant is an essential food for monarch butterfly caterpillars. There are actually several species of milkweed (Asclepias spp.), all of which are native to North America. They make beautiful, low-maintenance additions to most gardens and landscapes, where they attract a variety of pollinators with their flowers. Milk juice for defense Milkweed plants have developed two attractive defense mechanisms to deter predators. The main source of defense gives the plant its common name - milky white latex. The sticky sap and all parts of the plant contain large amounts of a compound toxic to all vertebrates. Monarch butterfly larvae have the ability to store this deadly compound in their bodies and are also toxic to vertebrates. This is what gives monarchs their characteristic foul taste, which repels predators. A second defense of these plants is the sticky nature of the sap. Milkweed plants keep their