In their larval stage, monarch butterflies feed exclusively on milkweed, these plants are full of toxins which make the butterflies taste unappealing to their predators. Our Field Garden located on the right side of the nature center was created as a station for birds and butterflies of all kinds. Filled with many different native species, this gardens most popular feature is the milkweed plants which attract these beautiful butterflies who are looking to lay their eggs!
Monarch butterflies are located all across North America, from Central America all the way up to Canada. Three populations of these butterflies will be found across America and are separated by the Rocky Mountains. As they migrate, these populations spread out, those west of the Rockies head to Southern California and those to the east migrate to Mexico. Four generations of these butterflies can be produced in one summer, the first three are those who live short lives and expand the population while the last generation lives up to nine months, these are the butterflies who take the journey from the North to South.
Milkweed is essential in this process as it is the only plant that Monarchs will lay their eggs on. As time goes on the butterflies are facing more of a threat to their populations as the amount of milkweed plants dwindles. Different measures taken to protect these plants for the butterflies have sprung up over the years, one being Monarch Watch. Monarch Watch was created as a resource for those looking for more information on these butterflies and how to protect them and the milkweed plants they need to survive. Asbury Woods has a Monarch Waystation in our Field Garden, which has been certified by Monarch Watch as a means to help conserve and protect this species.
For more information visit: https://www.monarchwatch.org/