Monarch Butterflies Need Your Green Thumb Growing and planting milkweed can help
BY SARAH MOWRY
As spring draws nearer by the day, many people in Central Oregon start to get eager for the resumption of warm weather and springtime habits. For some, gardening tops that list, and they jump the season by starting garden seeds indoors. Tomatoes and other vegetables are the usual suspects, but this year, why not add in a few native milkweed seeds to help out our local monarch butterfly population? There are two kinds of milkweed native to Central Oregon: showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) and narrowleaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis). Both kinds were historically found throughout Central Oregon, but are now very limited in their range. Planting more native milkweed in Central Oregon can help the iconic Western monarch butterfly survive into the future.
What?! We have monarch butterflies in Central Oregon? Yep! Central Oregon is within the migratory range of the Western monarch butterfly. Many know this bright orange-and-black butterfly because of its amazing migration from North America south to Mexico. Our monarchs, however, do not migrate to Mexico and are a separate species from the ones that do. They live only in the Western North America and make their migration from their migration as far north as southern Canada northwest to overwinter in California. What?! We have monarch butterflies in Central Oregon? Yep! Central Oregon is within the migratory range of the Western monarch butterfly. Many know this bright orange and black butterfly because of its amazing migration from North American south to Mexico. Our monarchs, however, do not migrate to Mexico. They live in Western North American and make their migration from as far north as southern Canada to overwinter in California. (Editor's note: The above paragraph was altered from the print version to more accurately reflect the local Monarchs' migration. An earlier version said Monarchs migrate from the Northwest, not from southern Canada)