To encourage the survival of the eastern monarch butterfly, the Edible Garden provides a variety of milkweeds for the nutrition of both the adult butterfly and their caterpillars. Milkweeds are one of several sources of nectar for the monarchs, but are the only plant where they lay eggs. Monarch larvae only eat milkweed leaves, the optimum environment for survival includes a variety of milkweeds.
Currently, the following species are blooming or are in seed production: swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica), and common milkweed (Ascepias syriaca).
By Tony Jevans and Cliff Keller, Bernheim Volunteers