Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Got Milkweed?

Asclepias physcocarpa in the Rose Garden annual border, also known as Balloonplant, for obvious reasons once you've seen its seedpods. Another milkweed. People have been asking alot about this pretty tall plant. Native to Africa, it's both decorative and a host to the monarch butterfly. How awesome is that?

Not to be outdone, our Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) was spotted tonight on a bike ride to Floyd Bennett and it was host to two species. The Large Milkweed Bug and what sure looks like a Monarch caterpillar. Thanks to Caleb Leech and Bugguide.net, I now know exactly what that orange bug (and it's a true bug) I've been wondering about is. Onocopeltus fasciatus. Say that three times fast for kicks. Or just call it the Large Milkweed bug and be happy.

Maybe if we get lucky, we will catch the Monarch in its chrysalis. Joe and I spotted a few caterpillars on this one Milkweed plant near the bike path and will try to remember to keep our eye on the plant in the next few weeks. This last generation will fly south to Mexico to overwinter.

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