Middle South

July, 2004
Regional Report

Web Finds

Saving the Hemlocks
Almost every state in our region is being affected by the hemlock woolly adelgid, an imported pest that looks like puffy mealybugs wedged between the needles of native hemlocks. Learn more about them and participate in the reporting system now in working order at saveourhemlocks.org. The site includes information on managing infestations on trees in your yard as well as guidance on helping monitor them in public parks and other natural areas.

Favorite or New Plant

Milkweed
I thought butterfly weed (Asclepius tuberosa) was the prettiest milkweed until I saw white milkweed (A. variegata) blooming along the edge of the woods. These and other milkweeds do more than produce pretty flowers followed by down-filled seedpods. They are nursery plants for monarch butterflies, and provide pollen and nectar for dozens of beneficial insects. Just remember that milkweeds are not for human consumption. Compounds in their latex sap are toxic to humans and distasteful to birds, too. It is thought that birds shun monarchs as food because they taste like what they eat -- milkweed!

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