Feeding the Monarch
Nova Scotia earthenware clay, white earthenware clay, wire, epoxy
Shauna became fascinated with swamp milkweed a few years ago when vacationing on the French shore of Nova Scotia. Through research she learned the important role our plants and flowers play in the survival of the Monarch Butterfly.
The beautiful Monarch Butterfly is perhaps the most recognizable of the butterflies. They travel 1200-2800 miles or more from the Southeast of Canada to the mountain forests in Central Mexico where they hibernate for the winter. The Monarch Butterfly is known by scientists as Danaus plexippus, which in Greek literally means "sleepy transformation." The name evokes the species' ability to hibernate and metamorphize. Adult Monarch Butterflies possess two pairs of brilliant orange-red wings, featuring black veins and white spots along the edges. Males, who possess distinguishing black dots along the veins of their wings, are slightly bigger than females. Each adult butterfly lives only about four to five weeks.
The Monarch has experienced a 90% decrease since the 1990s due to disruption of unique forested mountain areas in Mexico where most of the global population overwinters and habitat loss in summer breeding areas in Canada and the US. The increased use of industrial herbicides has depleted habitat.
Stop using chemical herbicides and plant swamp milkweed anywhere and everywhere to increase the habitat for the breeding season.