I appreciated the article last week regarding invasive plants from Alena Steen (“How to stop the spread of invasive plants,” CVN, Vol. 25, No. 45). In addition to removing invasives, I believe it is important to plant natives. When it comes to milkweed, the plants on which Monarch butterflies depend, this is critically important. The exotic (non-native) species that are found in many local nurseries and stores are actually more harmful to the Monarchs because they harbor pests that kill caterpillars before they can transform into the beautiful butterflies that we cherish (and whose numbers have declined by over 80 percent).

Yes, nurseries in Santa Ynez grow native milkweed and they can be found at the Saturday Farmer’s Market in Santa Barbara every other Saturday, and the Ojai Farmer’s Market every other Sunday.

If you have the exotic milkweed, which has orange-red flowers, please consider removing it and replacing it with natives. Calscape.org is a great resource to determine local natives.

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