Diversity matters – at least to monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus). Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) are the larval host plants for monarch butterfly. Pictured above along Oslo Road is a monarch butterfly nectaring on scarlet milkweed (Asclepias curassavica), a non-native, commercially available and weedy species that is quite contraversial.
A University of Florida research study showed that monarch butterflies laid 22% more eggs on milkweeds interplanted with wildflowers than on a milkweed monoculture. This research was conducted using swamp milkweed (Asclepias perennis), a native milkweed of moist places. Click here to read more about this research.
From this research it seems that monarch butterflies thrive a diet of diverse nectar plants. Plant your garden for diversity and beauty as Nature does.