Monarch Caterpillars

Daniel, We have baby monarchs

Location: South Pasadena, CA
January 3, 2011 12:44 am
Since I planted the milkweed a few years ago, I’ve had occasional monarch butterfly visitors, and a single caterpillar last summer. Then a few days ago I started finding these. I counted at least eight of them in two different sizes. This is pretty exciting for me. It doesn’t seem like the right season, but I guess they know better.
Signature: Barbara

Monarch Caterpillar

Hi Barbara,
This is really exciting.  Congratulations on your good fortune.  We would love to know what species of milkweed you are growing in Southern California and where you acquired your plants.

Monarch Caterpillar

I got the milkweed at a Huntington Library plant sale.  I’ve lost the tag, and I don’t remember what species it is, but it has nice red and yellow flowers and seeds like crazy.  The birds and bugs like it, and it’s quite pretty most of the time if I trim off many of the seed pods.  I’d be happy to give you some seedlings which pop up everywhere there’s a little water.

Monarch Caterpillar

Hi Barbara,
I in no means mean to disparage the Huntington which is a marvelous garden and resource for the public, but if they have milkweed, it is probably an exotic species from a faraway land.  I was hoping to hear that you got your milkweed from the Theodore Payne Society, a non profit organization in Sun Valley that sells native plants.  I may do a book signing there this spring.  I am currently working towards trying to preserve our local milkweeds.  Clare Marter Kenyon, a local activist who was behind the City of Los Angeles’ Protected Native Tree Ordinance, formerly the Oak Tree Ordinance, informs me that there are three species of native milkweeds in Elyria Canyon Park in Mt Washington, and I plan to try to propagate them.  I have never seen a Monarch on the milkweeds in Elyria Canyon Park, but there are always Large Milkweed Bugs on them.

Ed. Note: January 5, 2010
Clare Marter Kenyon just sent us this link:

Update: May 3, 2011
Obtaining Native Milkweed
May 3, 2011 9:44 am
Dear Bugman,
I was reading your tag on Monarchs and milkweed (asclepias).  If you havent found sources yet, there are some great native nurseries throughout the state (check for a thorough list).  One near LA is Las Pilitas Nursery,, they have great photos and information.  The SF Bay area has Annies Annuals (where I purchased my milkweed).  Both of these companies are responsible propogaters and have excellent mailorder service. I have my first crop of Narrow leaf milkweed (asclepias fascicularis)growing in this year.  We may only get a few monarchs drifting in but many insects enjoy it. Kudos and thank you for getting out the word that our monarchs need Native milkweed to thrive.  I consider it far lovelier than the tropical variety.  Before I knew better I had tropical milkweed planted and all it attracted was flies!
Signature: Colleen Clark

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