Monarch butterflies are distinctive, beautiful and wildly popular with butterfly gardeners. Their host plants include species of the milkweed (Asclepias) genus. In recent years, a disease that affects the Monarch has become more known as problematic for the health of this wonderful butterfly. This disease, caused by a protozoan parasite (Ophryocytis elektroscirrha or OE), may be linked to the widespread use of a non-Florida native milkweed in our gardens.
This blog post was written by Master Gardener Molly Griner under supervision of the Master Gardener Coordinator and Residential Horticulture Agent Anne Yasalonis.
For more information, contact UF/IFAS Extension Polk County at (863) 519-1041 or visit us online at http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/polk. The Plant Clinic is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-4:00 pm to answer your gardening and landscaping questions. Visit us in person, give us a call, or email us at email@example.com.
The Florida Master Gardener Program is a volunteer-driven program that benefits UF/IFAS Extension and the citizens of Florida. The program extends the vision of the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, all the while protecting and sustaining natural resources and environmental systems, enhancing the development of human resources, and improving the quality of human life through the development of knowledge in agricultural, human and natural resources and making that knowledge accessible.
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