The milkweed flowering plant in Matlacha is sometimes referred to as “butterfly weed” because it is an important host plant for the larvae of monarch butterflies. The common weed and swamp milkweed is the only food source of the monarch butterfly. For many years, it has been sprayed with herbicides. Also, milkweed attracts pollinators through its ability to produce large flowers. Some milkweed species can produce hundreds of flowers at a time, providing a substantial food source for pollinators.