The magical metamorphosis begins when the female monarch searches for milkweed and lays her precious eggs.
Monarchs depend on milkweed for survival. Their caterpillars only eat milkweed plants and butterflies use it to lay their eggs.
Watch the chrysalis as the pupa changes from the body parts of a caterpillar into the body parts of a butterfly.
While beautiful, the distinctive colors of a Monarch’s wings warn predators that the monarch is foul tasting and poisonous.
Gaining its name from the milky sap secreted when stems are broken, Milkweed produces some of the most complex flowers in the plant kingdom.
With more than 100 different milkweed species native to North America, the best time to collect common milkweed is in the Fall.
Monarch Waystations are places that provide milkweed and nectar throughout their spring and summer breeding areas in North America.
Grow milkweed plants for Monarch breeding and to provide them with a food source. Grow nectar plants so Monarchs have energy for migration.
PHOTOS: (in order) Large Milkweed Beetle, Red Milkweed Beetle, Swamp Milkweed Beetle, Aphids, Red Nymph Beetle, Red Nymph Beetle Closeup, Milkweed Pod, Lady Bug, Cobalt Blue Milkweed Beetle (Aaron Schusteff). All other images by Lynn Rosenblatt.
Monarch Butterflies need our help! Join local efforts to plant milkweed in schoolyards, libraries, and backyards across the USA.
These resources will get you started.
Monarch Watch – Free Milkweeds for Restoration Projects
Monarch Joint Venture – Native Milkweed Campaign
David Suzuki Foundation – Ten Tips for a Monarch-Friendly Garden
Our Habitat Garden – Growing Milkweed for Monarchs