This past week there was an
excellent article in the Miami Herald
, written by Kenneth Setzer from Fairchild
Tropical Garden. The article looks at the
real dangers facing monarch butterflies, and how the loss of habitat, climate
change, pesticide and the loss of host plants is affecting the current
population. One statistic that stands
out for me, of all the monarchs that overwinter in central Mexico today, the
numbers represent only 10 percent of the average population size over the past
There are two types of monarchs,
those that migrate from North America to Mexico and those that stay year around
mostly in South Florida and Texas. We
are lucky, we get to see these beautiful creatures year-round.
I plant milkweed (the
monarch’s favorite plant) throughout the garden. The writer tells us that Tropical milkweed (not
a native), the one we buy in our local garden centers, may be hurting our butterflies. It has been found that the multi-generational
feeding from the same plants is allowing a parasite that hurts the butterfly to
accumulate at abnormal levels. The author
recommends that we should eventually replace the tropical milkweed with native
milkweed. For more information on what
you can do to help the monarchs, visit the Xerces Society web site at www.xerces.org
THIS AND THAT AROUND THE GARDEN.
This weekend I trimmed the yellow
cassia tree. This tree is one of my favorite
trees, but I find that it might not be a good fit for my small garden.
Lunch time, a salad from the
This Christmas cactus was a gift
from a neighbor.