University of Minnesota

Common Milkweed Thoughts

Contributed by Jan LeVesque

To Common Milkweed

Some call you common milkweed, but there's nothing common about you. In Spring I watch for the green shoots that show your arrival. I sigh with relief knowing that because of you I will once again bear witness to the miracle of Monarchs. You grow taller and your leaves are pristine and whole, a lovely shade of green. This perfection doesn't last long though as so many beings depend on you for a home and for food. At long last the Monarchs arrive and I begin to see holes in your leaves and perfect little dome shaped eggs on the undersides. But wait, are those buds I see? YES!! now the party really begins as Monarchs and other butterflies, and many insect species are attracted to your lovely fragrance and sustenance. You are a wonderful life source for many living things. For a couple of weeks I enjoy the smell of your flowers and the garden buzzes with pollinators. Late summer comes and your tiny pods appear. By fall they are large and stuffed with your miraculous seeds with silky parachutes.

No, there is nothing common about you and there is nothing weed about you either. You are an incredibly desirable plant.

Jan LeVesque

  • © 2018 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy