Native plants went mainstream over the past five years as many people embraced the value of these plants to beneficial insects that pollinate our landscape and farms, especially to feeding specialists such as the monarch butterfly. We’ve begun to understand that when native plants thrive, they occupy places that might otherwise be taken over by invasive species. Furthermore, many native plants are easier to grow when they are well selected for a location.
More than a few plants that we humans call weeds, other creatures call home. Even among our cherished ornamental flowers, some need to stand long after the beauty pageant is over in order to support the insects they host.
Such is the case with the milkweed family. Long after the flowers have gone, the leaves are critical for monarch butterfly larvae. If you want to support bees, birds and butterflies, here's a short article from The Day in New London, CT, on the "homely" plants that do a lot of good for the creatures that pollinate our food crops and flowers.