Common milkweed

Asked July 28, 2019, 5:45 PM EDT

We have had a small well contained growth of common milkweed in our garden in Washtenaw county for several years. We enjoy flocks of Monarchs feasting on this growth. The Condo Association has demanded that we remove this invasive species despite no extension of growth into neighboring lots. Do we have any legal rights to protect this oasis for hungry monarchs?

Washtenaw County Michigan invasive species aggressive native plant

1 Response

Hello,

I am a garden question responder and can’t address your legal issues. However, I can provide you with accurate science-based information on milkweed.

There are several kinds of plants called milkweed. Common milkweed, scientific name Asclepias syriaca, is a plant native to North America. By definition it cannot be ‘invasive’. It can be an aggressive plant that needs to be managed in some gardens. See the details here, and compare what you have to the pictures.

https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weedguide/single_weed.php?id=70

The common milkweed is not on any invasive plants list in the USA. This statement from the Monarch Joint Venture Organization explains more-

https://monarchjointventure.org/resources/faq/is-milkweed-invasive

And this link lists milkweeds best for each region. There are several for the northeast, and perhaps your Association wouldn’t have a problem with a different choice-

https://monarchjointventure.org/images/uploads/documents/MilkweedFactSheetFINAL.pdf

If you still need advice on the legal issues between tenant and association, please respond and I will try to find an Extension resource to help you.

Thank you.