Today’s Plant of the Day is Narrow leaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis), featuring the Blue Milkweed Beetle. With a very straight forward name, this beautiful and common plant in California has thin, squiggly leaves that whirl around the stem. Though not pictured, this perennial has a showy display of white or purple-white flowers that cluster at the top during bloom. A favorite for many butterfly gardens, this plant is important because it is the larval host plant for Monarch butterflies! Milkweed is poisonous to most, but the Blue Milkweed Beetle (pictured) and the Monarch can both safely chomp on its leaves.
Within the 50,000+ acres of the preserve, we have over 11 miles of pristine trail for you to hike. Some days you can walk for hours without spotting another human being, enjoying in your solitude the beauty of this valley landscape. Be aware of our hiking “Code of Ethics,” and check out our trail maps in the “Resources” section above to plan your trip.
The preserve is home to more than 250 bird species, more than 40 fish species, and some 400+ plant species have been verified. Keep an eye out for Greater and Lesser Sandhill Cranes, Northern Pintail, Swainson’s Hawks, and Black-necked Stilts. Within the preserve you can see for yourself the rich variety of American wildlife.