Sunday, August 24, 2014

Showy Milkweed — With Monarch Butterfly

Showy Milkweed   © SB
If my Regina, Saskatchewan, front yard was larger, I would love to fill it with Showy Milkweed plants to attract and feed Monarch Butterflies.

To me, the complex, compound flowers of Showy Milkweed are very beautiful, although the plant's growth pattern might be a bit overwhelming in a small space.

But oh, having my own Monarch Butterfly colony would be so much fun! These large, black and orange butterflies are lovely to watch, and their larva have vivid black, white and yellow stripes.

And Monarchs need all the help they can get these days. They rely on Milkweed, a plant that's not as common as the butterflies or butterfly watchers would like it to be, thanks to development and its designations over the years as a weed. (The latter is changing, with the recognition of its importance as a unique food source.)

Monarch Butterfly feeding on Showy Milkweed flowers  © SB

Monarch Butterfly larva/caterpillar feeding on Showy Milkweed leaf.  © SB
Stand of Showy Milkweed.   © SB

These photos were all taken a few years ago at Nature Regina's Native Plant Garden at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.

Prairie Wildflower: Showy Milkweed 
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan,  Canada.  
Photo Date: July 10, 11, and 12, 2012.  



  1. I came across this flower today in a ditch in Western Manitoba, standing all by its lonesome. It looked so unique to me and the star shape was very pretty. It took me a bit of time on the internet to figure out what it was.

    1. I'm glad you identified it! It's so important to Monarch butterflies.


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