Most of us may automatically think “monarch” after hearing the word “milkweed,” or vice versa. And that’s in fact a critical and intimate relationship, the one between monarch butterflies and native milkweed plants.
But the genus Asclepias offers sustenance to a wide diversity of animal species beyond just that one beloved insect.
Today’s guest is Eric Lee-Mader, author of the recent book “Milkweed Lands: An Epic Story of One Plant: Its Nature and Ecology.” Eric is an ecologist at the invertebrate-focused Xerces Society, where he is the pollinator and agricultural biodiversity co-director. He and his wife also operate Northwest Meadowscapes in Port Townsend, Wash., providing regional native seeds and consultation services for meadowmakers.