Got Milkweed? Help Support Pollinator Populations

June 11, 2020

Throughout the summer, zoo grounds are a flourish with blooming plants, trees, and shrubbery! Around Nature Boardwalk, the Horticulture Department at the zoo has planted many different species of milkweed, from swamp to whorled! As the summer heat sets in, milkweed begins to bloom, attracting pollinators with its sweet nectar. Take a look below to discover the three species that are the most prevalent around the boardwalk:

Swamp milkweed
Asclepias incarnata

It has been noticed that swamp milkweed tends to attract the most pollinators!

Common milkweed
Asclepias syriaca

Common milkweed is great for wildlife in big, open areas, but can be aggressive in the garden space at home.

Butterfly milkweed
Asclepias tuberosa

With its bright orange flowers, butterfly milkweed is easy to spot around Nature Boardwalk.

As urbanization continues to change the environment and impact local species, it’s essential to implement ways to protect animal populations in cities. Milkweed is an important plant that attracts and supports pollinators, such as Illinois’ state insect, the monarch butterfly.

How can you help save monarch butterflies? By living wildlife friendly and planting milkweed! The zoo’s horticulture team specifically recommends planting swamp milkweed in your home garden—a monarch’s favorite.

Butterflies love milkweed and you should too!

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