Southwest Chapter member and INPAWS Vice President Davie Sue Wallace has persuaded her legislators to introduce a bill naming Butterfly Milkweed the Indiana State Wildflower.
March 2017 Update: The bill was introduced but did not make it out of committee. INPAWS will mount a campaign again in the 2018 Legistlative Session.
We’re excited to support this effort and urge all of you to write your senator and representative in support of this initiative. You’ll find their emails at iga.in.gov.
Here is what INPAWS Past President Jeff Pitts wrote to House Speaker Brian Bosma in support of the bill:
I’m writing on behalf of the Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society in support of senate bill SB470, co-sponsored by Senator Vaneta Becker and Representative Ron Bacon, to establish a new Indiana State Wildflower: Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa).
Also known as Butterfly Milkweed – all of the Asclepias (uh-Sklee-pee-us) species are milkweeds – this Indiana native perennial is important to the people and economy of our state for a variety of reasons:
- The only food source for the endangered Monarch butterfly.
Monarchs lay their eggs on milkweeds and the caterpillars can eat only milkweeds. Without milkweed, the Monarch will not survive.
- Good for Indiana farms and gardens.
It is highly attractive to many pollinators – butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and numerous other invertebrate pollinators. Natural pollinators are in high demand among Indiana’s farmers and gardeners.
- Selected the Perennial Plant of the Year for 2017.
Announced by the Perennial Plant Association in late summer 2016, this selection will surely increase demand and availability among wholesale and retail plant distributors.
- Indigenous to Indiana.
As a plant native to Indiana, it’s well-adapted to Indiana conditions (= low maintenance), returns every year and serves an important role in maintaining a stable healthy natural environment.
We believe a large majority of Hoosiers will respond favorably to adopting this new state wildflower. It proactively addresses the need to help our dwindling pollinator population, helps Indiana farmers and gardeners, and helps Hoosiers do their part in the fight to save the Monarch and be good stewards of the land.
Please support legislation to add this handsome perennial to our slate of state symbols. THANK YOU!