Date: 7/27/17 11:45 am From: Robert Mussey <mussey.robert...> Subject: [MASSBIRD] monarch butterflies
For the first time in years, we've had a good number of monarch butterflies this year, perhaps 8-10 so far. They are attracted to the native milkweed species we've planted, especially swap milkweed (*Asclepias incarnata*) which is blooming right now, and orange butterflyweed (*Asclepias tuberosa*) which is just finishing blooming. They won't come near the common milkweed (*Asclepias syriaca*) we have let go wild here, and which I had always associated with monarchs, perhaps wrongly.
Both *tuberosa* (dry sandy, well-drained soils) and *incarnata* (damp spots, or water regularly) are fairly easy to establish and will self seed to some extent, which has allowed us to increase the size of our milkweed patches.
So, a perhaps little hope here on one front of an otherwise depressing decline.