About Me

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Fulton, MO, United States
I am living in the middle of a wonderful, small town. My passion is gardening. I dream of living on a small farm, just outside of town, and selling vegetables and eggs to those that drive by. This blog is to document the slow process of learning while reaching and wandering towards my goal.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bloodflower (Asclepias curassavica)

This will be the second year that I have grown Bloodflower.  Mexican Butterfly Weed, Scarlet Milkweed or, Tropical Milkweed are other common names. It is native to South America and a cousin to the American native, Butterfly Weed.  It will grow 2 to 3 feet tall and attracts birds, bees and most importantly the caterpillar that produces Monarch Butterflies.  In late summer our house will be covered in emerald green cocoons. 

                                                                               It is amazing to watch the process as the cocoon turns from green to gold and then darkens as the butterfly gets close to emerging.  My goal this year is to witness the butterfly breaking free. 

I have purchased this seed twice now from different online sources.  This years seed came from Monticello.  If you have not visited their website, you should.  Thomas Jefferson was one of the first "master gardeners".  To be able to purchase seed from his gardens is amazing to me. 

I looked forward to getting the newspaper each morning and searching for new caterpillars and cocoons.  When the caterpillar first starts making his home the cocoon shakes back and forth and the green gets less translucent.  This one here is getting closer to becoming a butterfly, the black is the wing color starting to show through.  When the whole thing turns black there is just a few hours until the butterfly will make his first appearance.

2 comments:

  1. I just purchased and planted some bloodflower. lI have planted it next to the lantana, which always attracts bees, butterflies (swallowtails and others) and sometimes hummingbirds. I hope that I will get to see a cocoon one day. I guess the monarch lays eggs on the plant, the eggs hatch and the caterpillars begin eating the leaves in order to fatten up, at which time they spin a cocoon and that later the monarch emerges from the chrysallis?

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