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Monarch Butterflies


Monarch Butterfly

Beauty in our gardens depends on pollinators. The population of one of those pollinators, the monarch butterfly, is declining. There are efforts under way to reverse that decline.

You can help.

On this page are links to organizations that are fighting to preserve the monarch butterfly, steps you can take to make a place for butterflies at your home, school and park programs about butterflies, and information about the distinctively-marked and colorful monarch.

Native Milkweed Seeds

Several FCPA park sites have free native milkweed seeds available by request. Simply ask the person at the front desk of these parks for the milkweed seeds.

Thanks to Save the Monarchs for supplying the seeds.

 Download Publication Resources

What You Should Know about Milkweed Toxicity

All milkweed is toxic and is what protects the monarch butterfly and caterpillar, plus the dozens of other insects that use this plant as a host, from predation. Basically the latex sap throughout the plant imbues the muncher with a noxious taste. The main recommendation is to plant all milkweeds out of reach for pets which have a proclivity to chew plants. Typically the issue is a concern for grazing animals but no pets should be allowed to eat milkweeds.

Our area milkweeds are not among the most toxic. In order of toxicity, labriformis milkweed, western whorled milkweed, western whorled milkweed and wooly pod milkweed. The most toxic of milkweeds are the whorled or narrow leaf varieties. More information can be found at Home Guides

In our area, the common milkweed- the favorite of monarch butterflies, is not used in public school butterfly gardens due to concerns over toxicity. The swamp milkweed and butterfly weed are commonly planted in school yards and parks. Hidden Oaks has all three species Even milkweed in different geographic areas has different levels of toxicity. Our area’s milkweed is less toxic than milkweed in northern states. The biggest concern is getting the toxic sap in the eye. The latex, which contains cardiac glycosides, is a severe irritant and would require medical attention.

Suzanne Holland
Visitor Services Manager
Hidden Oaks Nature Center

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