Earlier today, I was recording a podcast for EcoSpeaks CLE. I was fortunate to be asked to be on in the Spring to talk about shrinking your lawn and again to talk about the monarch migration and our collection of Common Milkweed pods. Be sure to listen in next Tuesday, September 20th when it airs. You can listen anywhere you get your podcasts or online.
On the podcast with me was Marci Lininger from the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI) and our host, Diane Bickett and Greg Rotuno. OPHI organizes the collection of Common Milkweed pods each year through soil and water conservation districts. This year the collection has been extended to November 15th. We are excited about this because in years past we get donated pods well into November. After collection, the pods are cleaned with the help of prisoners in local prisons and the seed is used for habitat across the state. Cuyahoga SWCD will have some for distribution with direction on how on how to grow it.
Common Milkweed is one of the milkweed plants that a monarch butterfly can lay her eggs on. There are 13 different types of milkweed here in Ohio with the most prevalent being Common Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, and Butterfly Weed. The monarch caterpillar can only feed on milkweed, however the monarch butterfly can and should feed on any flowering plant with nectar. It is important to not only plant milkweed but also native plants that bloom early Spring and into late Fall so they and other pollinators have something to eat.
So get out there and start collecting Common Milkweed pods for us.
Thanks for your help!
Blog author: Amy Roskilly, Conservation Education & Communications Manager