so many milkweeds
the local governing bodies and public works around where i live, have been slowly restoring many of our beach fronts and hiking trails with native plants. it is so uplifting to see this happening. i never knew there were so many different varieties of milkweed. my best resource for minnesota native plants tells me we have 14 native milkweeds in minnesota. wowsa. until only a few years ago, i knew only one milkweed, the common milkweed, which is the one that monarchs need to thrive, and which we luckily have in abundance. but since those prairie restoration efforts, i have learned at least four new-to-me species. what a thrill! in addition to my own pleasure, i think our bees are noticing too. this year our two hives produced 20 gallons of honey!! we’ve had bees for 10 years, and this year was by far the most honey they have ever produced. i asked the UofM Bee Lab why that might have been, and they had no idea. i think it is happy bees enjoying their new biodiverse prairies. until someone tells me otherwise, that’s what i think.
swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)