It took a few years after starting the plants from seed, but finally, there are fragrant milkweed blooms in my garden.
This is showy milkweed, Asclepias speciosa, one of several species native to Idaho. It’s a plant beloved by bees and butterflies, and specifically the monarch butterfly. Monarch caterpillars exclusively eat milkweed. Did you know the monarch is the state butterfly for Idaho?
Yeah, a dandelion snuck in there. I am hopeful a monarch mom will choose my milkweed for her eggs. It’s still early for their return, though. They spend the winter along the California coast and usually don’t fly back to Idaho in one long trip. It’s the next generation or the next one after that, that finished the migration to Idaho. Somehow, the generations tell each other where to find a home.
I did find a tiny, sleeping bee,- or maybe it’s a type of fly? on a plant yesterday morning.
Milkweed can be grown from seed just like the vegetables started in early spring. Seed fluff can be set free at any time. We did that Saturday during the Pollinator Celebration behind Garden City Hall.
When growing milkweed from seed, be patient. It takes a few years before the plants flower. They don’t even look like milkweed for the first couple of years.