This is the plant the Monarchs ate down to stubs, it is blooming again. It is Asclepias, better known as Milkweed and is a host plant for Monarch butterflies...huh, pretty amazing that it works! I wish I had been able to find a cocoon.
From a link on the internet I found out that last February a violent winter storm hit central Mexico where the Monarchs overwinter causing flooding that killed half of the butterflies:
Scientists predict that the number of Monarch returning to the northern range of their breeding grounds (the US and Canada) this summer will be fewer than at anytime since the overwintering colonies were first discovered in Mexico in 1975. And because of this, the expectation is that the number of Monarchs returning to Mexico in the fall of 2010 will also be dramatically reduced. If any of you have in the past contemplated the idea of planting Milkweed (the host plant for Monarch butterflies) to help Monarchs in their quest for survival, this might be the year to act. Monarchs are going to need all the help they can get this summer.
Adult Monarchs (and many other butterfly species) love nectar-rich milkweed as a food source, but there is a more important reason for the Monarch's close attachment to milkweed. Milkweed is the only plant material that Monarch caterpillars can eat. Remove Monarch caterpillars from milkweed and they will starve; or they will eat other plant material, sicken, and then die. The scientific name for milkweed is Asclepias (pronounced as-KLEE-pea-us).
I am so glad I chose this year to plant Milkweed!