I saw the Common Milkweed plant growing everywhere. Later we parked next to Big Meadows and I had a chance to take photos. The one below has leaves that are practically untouched, not too long out of the ground. The botanical name is Asclepias syriaca and its other names are Silkweed, Butterfly flower and Silky swallowort. The pods when they ripen will crack open. Its seeds are white and fluffy, and will flutter like dandelions in the wind.A perennial, there are over 100 milkweed species that are native to North America, and it is the only food that Monarch caterpillars can eat. The monarch migration occurs twice every year. Nectar from flowers provides the fuel source monarchs need to fly. If there are not any blooming plants to collect nectar from when the monarchs stop, they will not have any energy to continue.
Planting monarch flowers that bloom when when they are on their journey will help the monarchs reach their destination. Creating more monarch habitat will help work to reverse their decline.