Milkweed (FIRST sighted)

Date: 04/26/2019

California Native milkweeds that have historically grown in the hills and valleys above the coast where I live, and which my friends and I plant in our gardens, do not emerge until late spring. My showy and narrow leaf plants are only 1-3 inches tall right now. They are not ready to feed caterpillars until the fall migration, where we typically see mama Monarchs ovipositing beginning in late July or early August.

I’ve heard there is fear that planting milkweed along the coast would create overwintering resident Monarch populations and so it should be avoided. However, in my humble opinion, this is not possible. For one thing, there would be no larval food for spring or early summer cats. Plus, it snows at sea level in Humboldt County (we had 6 inches in January) so our winters are just too cold.

Mckinleyville, CA

Latitude: 40.9 Longitude: -124.1

Observed by: Celeste
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