I tried to get him to use his nose as a pointer..hey he isn't perfect but we are in the ballpark! This plant is located at the edge of my garage, it is a Swamp Milkweed or Asclepias incarnata 'Ice Ballet'... Click on photo to enlarge.
The caterpillars are eating and growing.. I have really enjoyed watching them. The more Milkweed you have ..the more larvae you will be able to support. Yes, they eat the plants leaves..yes the plants don't look so great after awhile. We used to ask our customers..with or without? Some would look puzzled..then we would point out the Caterpillars.. most people wanted to take larvae home on their plant..others insisted on plants without "those creepy crawly bugs. " It was one way to separate the Conservationists from the non conservation minded people. Milkweed is the ONLY source of food for the larval stage of the Monarch butterfly..
This is Asclepias incarnata also but a pink variety. It might be 'Cinderella' or it may be just a seedling variation. Sorry it is still in the bud stage, I wanted it to bloom, but it is being a real slow poke.
Asclepias tuberosa or Butterfly Weed..I love the vibrant orange color. This plant never gets as many larvae on it. I am not sure why, it may have something to do with the levels of the toxins in their sappy milk. I read once where it varies from plant to plant, and the butterflies know where to lay their eggs for the best results for their offspring.
Common Milkweed or Asclepias syriaca, this is the one that you will see in Minnesota in the ditches..and in large wildflower plantings. It is a very heavy tropical looking plant.
I love the flowers..the unique structure of the hoods and horns ..or more commonly known as a crown..or a star shaped crown ..call it what you want it is a unique flower. On a unique plant, with one unique purpose..to be food for a colorful larvae that becomes a beautiful butterfly. There are thirteen different kinds of Milkweed in Minnesota, I have only shared four from my neck of the woods:)