One or the Other?

My baby crownflower trees have been being eaten. It started slowly, but yesterday, I noticed a bunch of leaves were gone. Some of the seedlings were stripped bare.

A closer look showed me the cause of the missing leaves:

Monarch caterpillars!

Monarch caterpillars!

Crownflower trees are relatives of milkweed plants, also making them host plants for monarch butterfly caterpillars. I have monarch butterfly caterpillars on my lanai! How exciting!

I was really torn, because I’ve grown these crownflower trees from seeds, and I’m not just doing it for fun – I have plans to plant them. But I also like monarch butterflies, and would be willing to do a lot to help them. But would I sacrifice my baby trees for the caterpillars’ survival?

It turns out, I don’t have to. I texted my coworker Andrea, because she raises monarch caterpillars in her classroom each year to show kindergarteners. When I showed her the picture, she said I should bring them to church today. She’ll keep them fed and safe until they wrap themselves in a chrysalis and hatch into a butterfly. Nice.

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One Response to One or the Other?

  1. Lauren says:

    A win-win! Thank you, Andrea, for providing that opportunity!

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