Milkweed Feasting More than You Realize

This Antelope Horn milkweed near Wimberly, Texas, has three Gray Hairstreak and five Juniper Hairstreak butterflies.
Monarch caterpillar on giant milkweed. (Photo by Norman Winter)

By Norman Winter, Horticulturist, Author and Speaker

North Texas Farm and
Ranch owners most likely
are aware that milkweeds
are the lifeblood of Monarch
butterflies and their cousins the Queen and Soldier are mostly found in central and south Texas.

They are not just important as a larval food source but also as a vital nectar source to other pollinators including hummingbirds.

We love milkweeds because they are extraordinarily beautiful and intricate in their design, making them great plants for the landscape or the backyard wildlife habitat, but if you stop and pay attention, however, you’ll notice milkweeds are like the “pollinator luncheon junction” for an assortment of butterflies. Right now in the hill country of Texas not too far from San Marcos, Wimberley and Dripping Springs, you’ll find the Antelope Horn milkweeds (Asclepias asperula) blooming everywhere.

To read more pick up a copy of the May 2019 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.