The beautiful orange and black Monarch butterfly is one of the best known threatened butterfly species in North America. According to some of the latest surveys over 90% of the population has disappeared in the last decade mostly due to loss of habitat. Sprawling urban developments and intensive farming techniques mean fewer uncultivated margins where the milkweed species can thrive and provide habitat for the Monarch during its egg and larvae/caterpillar stages. When the females cannot find suitable habitat to lay eggs, the life cycle is interrupted and the overall population decreases. While scientists have been aware for several years of the Monarch butterfly’s life threatening situation and possible extinction, promoting public, government and industry awareness of the plight of this beautiful insect is probably the only thing that can lead to saving it.
Applewood provides five species of milkweed (Asclepias) as well as a Butterfly Mixture that provides a variety of nectar-producing flowers that supply food for adult butterflies. If you are interested in supporting the Monarch specifically, call one of our knowledgeable sales staff about our new Monarch Butterfly Mix (MBMX), which includes milkweed for the caterpillars and a variety of nectar plants to feed the adults. Check out this video and article from CBS News for additional information.