The Monarch Watch Organization was “over the moon” with excitement when University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Anne Marie Lardeau sent them one cup of rare, desert native Milkweed seeds. Last year, Lardeau spoke via email to the Monarch Watch Organization and found out that they did not have the rare, desert Milkweed on their list. Lardeau told them that Cooperative Extension had such plants.
Lardeau began the collection process a year ago at the Lifelong Learning Center’s Demonstration Gardens. Monarch butterflies deposit their eggs on the Asclepias subulata as they migrate from west to east and vice-versa. The caterpillars feed on the plants.
“It certainly was a long, involved process,” explained Lardeau. “The spring crop failed due to high winds that released all of the seeds into the air.” During the second harvest, Lardeau used panty hose she cut into thirds and tied at the ends and placed over the pods to capture the seeds. When the pods were ready to release the seeds, they were deposited into the mesh from the hose.
“The 10 Milkweed plants created about two ounces of seeds, equivalent to one cup,” Lardeau added. These were the first donation and the first desert Milkweed seeds the Monarch Watch Organization received from Nevada.
Learn more here: http://www.unce.unr.edu/news/article.asp?ID=2086
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