When I think of the milkweed plant's flower, I think of a pink flower. That's the sort of milkweed we always saw growing in ditches when we were growing up and that we have in the back yard garden. A couple of years ago I discovered that milkweed can also have a white flower and immediately sought, found two, and planted them in my white flower garden. Last year we had two monarch caterpillars, but they never got to the chrysalis stage much to our sorrow.
This year the milkweed flourished in both locations, and we have seen solitary monarchs flitting about so today we checked the white ones for caterpillars. The first thing that caught my eye was this:
In the photo above, you can see the white flower of the milkweed and, if you looker lower down and slightly to the left, you may see a caterpillar. It's not the monarch caterpillar, but it's quite stunning in its own right. The next photo is a close up of that caterpillar. It's a Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillar. I think it's stunning!
And just in case you're wondering, D found two monarch caterpillars while I was busy oohing and ahhing over the amazing one I found. Here are the monarch caterpillars:
There is one on either side of the picture; the one on the left obviously hatched before the one on the right. I hope that since there aren't two very large caterpillars that may in some way protect them from (mostly insect) predators.