© 2023 WNMU-FM
Upper Great Lakes News, Music, and Arts & Culture
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Donate Today

Butterfly-killing invasive plant found in northern lower Michigan

KINGSLEY, MI (AP)--   Officials in northern Michigan are working to get rid of an invasive plant that poisons monarch butterflies. 

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports the black swallow-wort was recently spotted in downtown Kingsley. The vine has heart-shaped leaves and small, dark purple flowers. It typically grows along roadsides, pastures and gardens.

Emily Cook of the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network says the plant attracts monarch butterflies, which often lay their eggs on it. But caterpillars will be poisoned when they hatch and begin to eat the plant.

Joanne Foreman of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the plant's sap is toxic to mammals and insects. The plant also has pathogens that stop other plants from growing around it.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.