VAN WERT — Due to the drastic decline in monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) populations, the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative (OPHI) and local Soil & Water Conservation Districts are again seeking public involvement to collect common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) seed pods from established plants Sept. 1 through Oct. 30. This is an annual event and hope you can participate!

The seeds will be used to establish new plantings and additional habitat for the monarch butterfly throughout the buckeye state. These future plantings will increase the food source for the caterpillar stage as seen below.

Seed pods from common milkweed should be collected only when the pods are dry & brown-grey in color. If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, they can be picked. The seeds in green pods will not be viable and won’t be able to be used. Be patient and don’t collect too soon!