Mystery Plant

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This beautiful bloom showed up in the Prairie Habitat Garden about a week ago and ever since then, I’ve been trying to figure out what it is. My 8 year old super assistant (my son), helped me search books and online for this mysterious beauty. We used search terms like “red”, “dark pink”, “flower”, “Saskatchewan” and didn’t turn up anything that resembled it. We ended up emailing this photo to Janet McVittie who is a faculty member connected to the Prairie Habitat Garden and she suggested it might be Milkweed. Sure enough, it is Swamp Milkweed.

A bit of research about this flower quickly taught us that it has a strong connection to Monarch Butterflies. Apparently, this plant and flower is a favourite food of the black and white striped caterpillar that becomes a Monarch and it also lays it’s eggs in the bloom. Although we didn’t see any caterpillers or butterflies this year, hopefully our Swamp Milkweed reseeds itself and becomes a favourite location for Monarch Butterflies in the future.

About Prairie Habitat Garden

Our Prairie Habitat Garden is an innovative plan that will contribute to the University of Saskatchewan's historical campus by transforming the close proximity to the Education College building from an underused and deteriorating asset to a thriving environmentally based teaching resource. This project ensures the ecological integrity of our natural and working lands while providing an exceptional educational opportunity for pre-service teachers, teachers, schools, and the general public to learn about preserving and recreating natural ecosystems. Concurrent with the building of this garden, local elementary and high schools will build prairie habitat gardens on their schools' properties. These natural habitat gardens should inspire visitors to create their own habitat gardens.
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