I introduced a milkweed plant into my garden about 5 years ago to attract the Monarch butterfly. It did attract them, but I never saw the caterpillars on them. This year I did get about 30 caterpillars, but they are all milkweed tussock caterpillars. Cute little things and voracious eaters. I watched one eat an entire leaf in a matter of minutes all by itself.
My milkweed has also begun to spread. I am putting in a new garden bed and do not want the milkweed to spread, so I guess I will dig it out at the end of the season. I will replace it with the butterfly weed for the Monarch's.
Thanks for the wonderful article, it did help to put things into perspective.
GardenGirl and Lois, the Common Milkweed in the wild is WONDERFUL. But once it is in the garden it can be dastardly as it tries to take over a whole area. Thanks, Lois, for your alert/alarm about this. Personally I love the bright orange of the Asclepsia Tuberosa - Butterfly Weed.
It was not until an older adult that I found the wonderful fragrance of milkweed in flower. It is kind of similar to a lilac fragrance. Also the seed pods are such fun for making craft items too..like angel wings. During World War II, civilians were directed to collect the pods for potential use in making parachutes supposedly. (Maybe it was a ploy to involve everyone in the war effort?)
But, do beware of their possessive streak in planned gardens!