Spot swallowwort and tear it up now, save your garden and monarch butterflies

Click to open and download a copy of this flier.

Click to open and download a copy of this flier.

Swallowwort is a pernicious invasive vine that kills monarch butterflies and is spreading all over Cambridge. It loves chain-link fences and climbing on other plants. This is the time to pull it out (easy) before the seedpods burst and seeds go flying all over town. I’m including an ID and a “what-to-do” flier that I made to distribute to my neighbors. The idea is for people to print it out, make color copies and distribute the flier door-to-door in their neighborhood. It’s time sensitive, as the swallowwort is just beginning to put forth flowers and soon, seedpods.

There have been no updates on the city’s website about swallowwort for the past two years. The last swallowwort campaign seems to have died on the vine in 2011.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll update the flier with a picture of the long seedpods that will soon be developing on the plants. These disperse thousands of seeds into the air like milkweed.

Carol Lynn Alpert, Cushing Street

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