Ecologist Eric Lee-Mäder and noted botanical artist Beverly Duncan have teamed up to create this unique exploration of the complex ecosystem that is supported by the remarkable milkweed plant, often overlooked or dismissed as a roadside weed. With stunning, up-close illustrations and engaging text, they trace every stage of the plant's changes and evolutions throughout the seasons, including germination, growth, flowering, and seed development. Simultaneously, they chronicle the lives of the many creatures whose lives are intertwined with the milkweed: monarch butterflies; soldier and queen butterflies; milkweed tussock moths; large and small milkweed bugs; milkweed weevils; bumble bees; goldfinches; and more. The delightful illustrations and illuminating text give the reader the feeling of browsing an avid naturalist's sketchbook, while also learning about different milkweed species, how to propagate milkweed in the garden, the industrial uses of milkweed, interesting milkweed relatives, and more.
Eric Lee-Mäder is the Pollinator Program Co-Director at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, and co-owner of Northwest Meadowscapes, a native seed farm located on Whidbey Island specializing in pollinator-friendly native flowers and grasses. He is the lead author of several Xerces books, 100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Attracting Native Pollinators, and Farming with Native Beneficial Insects.
Beverly Duncan is a contemporary botanical artist who focuses on watercolour paintings that incorporate the flora and fauna of a place and a season. Her work has been featured in numerous publications and her paintings were awarded “Best of Show” at the ASBA at the Horticultural Society of New York exhibition.