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It is not really news that Monarch butterflies are in trouble. Their numbers have been dropping steadily for the last twenty or more years. Last week, (August 2022) the International Union for the Conservation of Nature put the Monarch on their red list of species that are endangered. This holds no legal protections or incentives to help the Monarch, but it shows that scientists are justifiably worried.
A few years ago, a friend texted me a photo like the one below, asking me if they should pull out this plant—was it a weed?—as it was growing throughout their garden beds.
I usually define a weed as plant growing in a place where humans don’t want it.*
"The most common way gardeners attempt to connect with insects is by planting for butterflies. It is a noble idea... Sadly, the execution of this enterprise is so often directed by misinformation that we end up having fewer butterflies than we started with."
-Doug Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home