Pollen Nation

As an awkward kid with thick glasses, I always instinctively sided with underdogs, which explained my affinity for milkweed. Its ugly, thick stalks grow in ditches and along fencerows with the other weeds. But this secret agent doesn't run on water like ordinary plants; it bleeds thick, white liquid like Elmer's glue, which to me represented everything good about elementary school. The seed pods are spiked and heavy like some medieval weapon but full of impossibly soft white silk that made it snow in summer. The kicker is it's toxic to everything but monarch butterflies, by far the coolest insect around. The annual butterfly plant sale at Texas Discovery Gardens offers a way to attract myriad species to your backyard, but don't forget to include my old buddy milkweed. Catch the sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Texas Discovery Gardens, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Call 214-428-7476.
Sat., June 3, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
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Rick Kennedy