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Jun 10

Milkweed is a Life Preserver for Monarchs

During the Pacific battles of WWII, military occupation of Java eliminated the Allies’ source of kapok, the material that filled life jackets used by soldiers in the war.1 Kapok is a cotton-like, fibrous substance surrounding the seeds of the kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra). Without this critical material to fill life jackets, the United States turned to an abundant native plant with seed carried on the wind by fuzzy, lightweight floss: milkweed (Asclepias spp.). Citizens were asked to collect milkweed pods… Continue reading

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