|Milkweed aka swan plant|
Monday, February 5, 2018
The tree fell down and was tied up again...
Elizabeth: Why don’t you just pull it out? It’s such a raggedy growth, not pretty at all.
Victoria: I know, but it’s the only food the monarch butterflies eat.
Elizabeth: Can’t they eat something else?
Victoria: They like the swan plant, it’s got toxins, scares off the predators.
Elizabeth: Where do they go in winter?
Victoria: Good question. Some do migrate. Fly from Eastern U.S. to Mexico. Some take three or four generations. In New Zealand there aren't such distances but some say that monarchs overwinter in Christchurch or Tauranga.
Monarch butterflies. Brilliant introduced species to New Zealand, a land rather poorly inhabited by colorful winged insects. And yes, the swan plants bought from the nursery in small pots do look better formed, but an aged tree is a protectorate of multiple caterpillars.