Spare this weed, save a monarch

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

The im­age of milk­weed, once on the “hit list,” has un­der­gone a trans­for­ma­tion in re­cent years.

The plant is no longer on the On­tario list of nox­ious weeds, an as­sort­ment of veg­e­ta­tion that has been deemed to be harm­ful to agri­cul­ture.

Milk­weed had in the past been tar­geted by pes­ti­cides. How­ever, that tra­di­tional prac­tice had col­lat­eral dam­age -- the loss of a food source for the monarch but­ter­fly.

The cater­pil­lars feed only on milk­weed, which has be­come more prom­i­nent since the plant was taken off the nox­ious weed list.

The del­i­cate beau­ties have also ben­e­fited from the re­cent ad­di­tion of the dog-stran­gling vine to the bad weed ros­ter.

The plant does not me­nace ca­nines, how­ever, the peren­nial, which can grow to a height of two me­tres, chokes out other plants.

Colonies form mats of in­ter­wo­ven vines that are dif­fi­cult to walk through and in­ter­fere with for­est man­age­ment and recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties.

Leaves and roots may be toxic to live­stock. Deer and other brows­ing an­i­mals also avoid dog-stran­gling vine, which can in­crease graz­ing pres­sure on more palat­able na­tive plants.

The vine threat­ens the monarch but­ter­fly be­cause the but­ter­flies lay their eggs on the plant, but the lar­vae are un­able

Gar­den Path Home­made Soap shop near Van­kleek Hill. Since 2012, the MacWhirters’ prop­erty has been des­ig­nated a Monarch Waysta­tion by Monarch Watch.

to com­plete their life cy­cle and do not sur­vive.

Mon­archs breed in Canada and the U.S. but mi­grate to a small for­est in a moun­tain­ous area of Mex­ico, where they over-win­ter. There, their habi­tat is also be­ing de­stroyed.

25 nox­ious plants

This list is com­prised of 25 plants that are de­fined as be­ing harm­ful to crops, live­stock and hu­mans, and in­ju­ri­ous to health. Ev­ery­one who owns crop land must de­stroy nox­ious weeds on it.

Ev­ery­one who has land near enough to farm­land that nox­ious weeds could af­fect crops must also rid the prop­erty of those weeds.

DEL­I­CATE BEAUTY: MacWhiter’s A monarch but­ter­fly at Tara

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