What's the deal with Milkweed?

What's the deal with milkweed and monarchs? Why is tropical milkweed controversial? And if you live in Texas, what other perennials will attract Monarchs to your garden?

Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippusmigrate thousands of miles each year, and their round-trip annual journey takes four or five generations to complete. Milkweeds (genus Asclepias) are the sole group of host plants for this butterfly. In other words, the milkweed plant is an essential nursery for Monarchs: it is the only plant on which the butterfly will lay eggs, and the only food source for Monarch caterpillars. Monarchs cannot complete metamorphosis without milkweeds!

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leah churner