A Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) is one of the statelier plants that can be used in the garden. There is incredible variation between cultivated varieties, making it difficult to describe a typical Japanese maple. They can be grown as single-stemmed small trees or large multi-stemmed shrubs, ranging in size from six to 25 feet tall, meaning a Japanese maple can fit into a variety of landscapes. The leaves range from dark green to red or reddish-purple and can have anywhere from five to nine deeply cut lobes.
Milkweed is most often thought of as the home and food source of monarch butterfly larvae. However, milkweed also hosts a wide variety of other insect species such as red milkweed beetles, milkweed aphids and a moth called the milkweed tussock (also known as the milkweed tiger moth). Just like monarchs, these species have evolved to be able to eat and accumulate milkweed toxins in their bodies as a defense mechanism. They also require milkweed as a food source in order to be able to complete their lifecycles.