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Oklahoma Milkweed and Monarch Butterflies

OSU study finds way that benefits butterflies
Posted at 6:25 PM, Jul 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-08 19:38:50-04

OKLAHOMA — It's the peak of milkweed season and Green Milkweed is pretty common across the state of Oklahoma.

2 News talked to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The plant is important to Monarch Butterflies and other pollinators.

"Milkweed and monarchs pretty much go hand in hand. So the adult butterflies are going to be able to use milkweed as a nectar or a food source and then milkweed as a whole is the only host plant for the caterpillar so there's a pretty strong relationship," said Jena Donnell, Information and Educational Specialist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

If you do have milkweed, there is something you can do to help the monarchs the rest of the year.

"A study out of the Oklahoma State University has shown that just something as simple as holding back your mowing schedule can help," Donnell said.

She explained that delaying your mowing until after the plants have bloomed and gone to seed can trigger a summer re-sprout that can support late summer monarch reproduction and the fall migration.

Milkweed is only one part of the monarch equation. She said planting other native wildflowers can benefit butterflies as well.

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