Monarch Map

  1. The Mission
  2. The Map

Mission of Our Monarch Map

Milkweeds are the required host plants for monarch butterfly caterpillars (female monarchs lay their eggs on milkweeds) and their flowers provide nectar for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects. Being a required host plant means that the ONLY species that can support a monarch caterpillar is milkweed, or Asclepias.

By planting milkweed, you can provide habitat for monarchs and also attract and support pollinators. Within the United States, the Xerces Society recommends planting milkweed species that are locally native. Here in Wisconsin, we have 12-13 varieties of milkweed:

  • syrica—common milkweed
  • incarnata—swamp or rose milkweed
  • tuberosa—butterfly milkweed
  • verticillata—whorled milkweed
  • amplexicaulis—clasping leaf milkweed
  • exaltata—poke milkweed
  • hirtella—tall green milkweed
  • viridiflora—green flowered or short green milkweed
  • sullivantii—prairie, smooth, or Sullivant’s milkweed (threatened)
  • ovalifolia—draw or oval-leaf milkweed (threatened)
  • lanuginosa—wooly (threatened)
  • purpurens—purple (endangered)
  • speciosa—showy

You can help! Plant milkweed in your yard, community, and natural areas to protect both the diversity and abundance of milkweeds in our state, and the monarchs which rely on them.   Encourage your neighbors to do the same!

If you have any variety of milkweed in your yard, provide your Elm Grove address and we will add an orange dot on the map—let’s see what we can do to make Elm Grove a butterfly haven!

What to do with my Common MilkweedAsclepias syricae that spreads where I don’t want it?

  • Share it with a neighbor or friend
  • Post it on Next Door or Facebook to share with a random stranger
  • Just cut it off at the ground when it emerges
    • Under most conditions, when a common milkweed stem is cut off near ground level, in about two weeks a new shoot will appear from the roots. These new shoots are highly attractive to female monarchs, receiving two to 10 times more eggs than older stems. In addition, regrowing stems harbor fewer predators, giving young monarchs a chance to grow. In some studies, survival of eggs and young larvae was two to 2.5 times higher on regrowing stems. We have observed that older stems are important, too. As caterpillars mature, they often move from younger stems onto the older ones, so it may be that maintaining diversity in milkweed stem age is key.