Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) and Narrowleaf Milkweed plants (Asclepias fascicularis) have a close relationship that is essential for both species’ survival. Monarchs use milkweeds as the exclusive food source and habitat for their caterpillars – most of which will become adult butterflies by summer. In return, milkweed benefits from the pollination that monarchs bring to its flowers!
The protection of narrowleaf milkweed is therefore essential to helping prevent a complete collapse of the monarch population. Unfortunately, many people confuse it with other weeds or invasive species and often uproot it without recognizing its value. If you spot some narrowleaf milkweed in your yard or garden, please consider not removing it – you may be helping preserve the monarch’s future!