Cover Image: The Milkweed Lands

The Milkweed Lands

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Member Reviews

Very informative and interesting book. I highly write recommend it. Very educational. Very enjoyable

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The Milkweed Lands is a love letter to all milkweed plants. Written as both a natural history primer of milkweed and its ecosystem as well as the author's personal memories of milkweed and the environments it grows in creates a more personal text than strictly science text, reminding me of a nature journal. The beautiful illustrations reinforce this with amazingly annotated watercolors to showcase milkweeds, animals, habitats and scientific illustrations. Broken up into four sections, one for each season, the author takes us through the entire lifecycle of a milkweed plant as well as the many factors that affect it. I learned about milkweed as a food to humans, homes to mice, the vast soil community it supports as well as a whole host of other insects dependent on milkweeds other than monarchs. I also learned about the many threats to milkweeds as well as, more importantly, it's incredible resilience and ability to survive in many different environments and conditions.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.

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I received an arc of this title from NetGalley for an honest review. This is an excellent book about Milkweed and why it is so important to have. It discusses the different kinds of milkweed and what kinds are best where you are. It also talks about what insects and other animals are attracted to milkweed.

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First an admission: I am a milkweed lover! Growing up in a newly-created suburban subdivision, I was fascinated with the prairie full of grasses, wildflowers, — and milkweed- that thrived behind our small backyards. As an elementary student I watched the seasonal cycle of the milkweed plant, the lengthening stalk, the leaves, the pods, the flowers- and then the feathery seeds carried by the wind.. I learned of the plants’ importance as Monarch butterfly nourishment. But not until this book did I see the array of varieties and environments of milkweed. The color drawings are enchanting! It’s a uniquely specific book, but a beautiful one that many are likely to enjoy.

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This was a nice quick read about the milkweed plant and it's place in the American ecosystem. I thought the illustrations were particularly lovely showing the milkweed and the insects that feed on it in various life stages.

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What a surprising and utterly charming book!

The author relates the story of this fascinating plant that is so important in the lives of many pollinators - from its historic uses to its frequent destruction due to roadside spraying. The text is interspersed with lovely illustrations by Beverly Duncan.

This one's a treasure.

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There was so much information on a topic I really didn’t think was that controversial or deep. I learned a lot and the pictures and diagrams were very informative

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The Milkweed Lands is a sweet little gem of a book. Ecologist Eric Lee-Mader and artist Beverly Duncan have written a book focusing solely on the humble milkweed, a plant found in weedy spaces between cultivated fields, empty building lots or along roadsides. The book follows the plant's life cycle through the seasons, as well as the lives of the many creatures who rely on the plant for food, shelter, or a space to grow. The most famous of these is the monarch butterfly, but other butterflies and moths, bees, bettles and birds all depend on this modest plant.

The writing is thoughtful and straightforward, educating without being too scientific, but my favorite aspect of the book are the beautiful illustrations throughout. The book has the feel of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady (a favorite of mine) showing not only the milkweed as it undergoes a life cycle during the course of a year, but the myriad creatures who live in and around it.

I very much enjoyed this charming and educational book. While certainly it will appear to botanists or naturalists, the broader discussion about industrialized farming and its affect on our landscape should appeal to all.

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The Milkweed Lands is a beautifully-illustrated book about the often-maligned milkweed plant. This book discusses the wide variety of milkweed species, as well as the diversity of insects and other creatures that feed, live, or reproduce in and around milkweed plants. It also uses the milkweed plant to illustrate the negative effects that humans have had on our environment, as well as ways that that negative impact can be reduced.

This book covers a wide variety of topics centered around milkweed plants. The life cycle of milkweed is illustrated in this book by taking a detailed look at the existence of milkweeds throughout each season of the year, such as how milkweed rhizomes serve as a food source for prairie voles during the winter. The use of milkweed in hedgerows to provide wildlife habitat in areas that have been decimated by factory farming is also described. There are also descriptions of the many different types of insects that feed on milkweed, as well as the predators that feed on them.

The artwork in this book is wonderful, consisting of color illustrations that are full of detail. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in plants or ecology, or in just learning more about the natural world.

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I live in a world where people talk about milkweed often and celebrate its merits as a native host plant for butterflies and insects. This is a beautiful and well researched book that would be an asset to any library.
I will be recommending it to my native plant enthusiast peers (and anyone else who will listen)!

Grateful for the opportunity to take a look at this book in advance courtesy of the publisher and netgalley.

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Prior to the reading this book, I knew milkweed's role in the Monarch butterfly species but nothing else. I had no idea the huge role it plays in the ecosystem, how many different varieties of it there and the extent of the herbicide war there is on it.

The illustrations in this book are so beautiful, and this book could even double as a coffee table book because of the abundant illustrations.

I always appreciate books about nature and plants that can help me learn more and shift my mindset, and this book does just that. Weeds are a lot more than things taking up unwanted space in your flower bed, and we should learn more about them, appreciate them and allow spaces for them to grow naturally and contribute to the ecosystem.

Thank you, NetGalley and Storey Publishing for the ARC.

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I recently attended a birthday party at a house newly landscaped with different milkweeds and native plants in its front yard. Monarch butterflies greeted arriving guests and showed us the way to the party. Many of us hear milkweed mentioned in the same breath as Monarchs, but little did I know what a party those milkweed plants host for so many different organisms and ecosystems!

After reading this book, I know quite bit more and am inspired to plant milkweeds in my own front yard. The contents are an overview of milkweeds through the four seasons paired with beautiful scientific illustrations. The writing touches on science, history, memoir, and hope for the future.

This book would be an informative and inspiring gift for any ecologically minded person in your life, even a child (maybe 8 and up). I wish it had been published before the birthday party at the suburban milkweed haven, because it would have made the perfect gift!

I received an advance reader copy of this book from NetGalley and Storey Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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[4.5/5] As a gardener who recently planted milkweeds in the backyard, I was very excited to come across this book. In THE MILKWEED LANDS, Eric Lee-Mäder delivers an approachable summary about the plants themselves, their history, and the ecosystem around them. This information is accompanied by gorgeous illustrations by Beverly Duncan.

Lee-Mäder takes the reader through each season with the milkweed, sharing what the milkweed, as well as what the creatures around it, do during that time. I primarily picked this up to learn more about the actual plant. But I found its use during World War II quite fascinating. There is even text devoted to the etymology of the scientific name and how Eurocentric it is. The brief history of milkweed's presence on the lands of the United States also make one pause to think about the loss of botanic diversity resulting from mass crop growth. Part of this history includes how popular milkweeds used to be for honey production.

I was also very interested to learn more about the types of insects I see on milkweeds. To my delight this book has a full illustrated page of insects associated with milkweeds. However, I do wish the author had presented more information about these bugs. In particular, I would have liked to read about the types of insects one might see based on where in the U.S. someone lives.

Overall, though, I thoroughly enjoyed reading THE MILKWEED LANDS. It's a book I think many hobbyist gardeners would appreciate, particularly those interested in creating pollinator gardens or rewilding their yards. The beautiful illustrations in THE MILKWEED LANDS, as well as Lee-Mäder's poetic waxing about the plant, make reading this book even richer.

[This review will go live on my blog on Sept. 18.]

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Thank you to the author, Eric Lee-Mader, Storey Publishing, and NetGalley for providing me with a free ebook in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this short book (120 pages) with its many beautiful illustrations! I am from Coastal Southern California, so I had a very limited view of the part that milkweed species play in the environment. This book celebrates so much more about the wonderful plant species that collectively make up milkweed! It discusses the MANY creatures that rely on milkweed for food or protection or egg laying sites, including Monarchs. It discusses the difficulties in trying to grow milkweed for seed in California's Central Valley, in which wild milkweed has become scarce. After an introduction, the book is divided into sections by seasons. Each section discusses what milkweed is experiencing during that season and which other living creatures are dependent upon it.

This wonderful little book is so chock full of scientific information, and yet it maintains a light style like a walk through a milkweed meadow on a sunny summer day!

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The Milkweed Lands is a joyous celebration of the critical plant for monarchs. It is the perfect book for anyone wanting to plant milkweed or just learn more about this amazing plant. This text explains the history of the hardy milkweed plant and how we can plant it to help revitalize it. The beautiful illustrations help enhance the knowledge. Lee-Madar gives insightful information regarding the organisms that rely on this amazing plant.

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This book wasn’t quite what I expected, it’s much more artful and imaginative. I could feel the passion in the authors voice. I’ve already started planning my milk weed garden for the spring and have learned so much.
Thank you netgalley for the opportunity to read this.

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Beautifully illustrated, a fascinating book with lots of detail and interesting information about a plant and it’s impact I personally never really thought about before. I particularly loved the illustrations in this book, they were just so fantastic.

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This book covers pretty much everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the milkweed plant.

This book is adorned with lovely botanical illustrations.

I chose to review this book because I enjoy growing milkweed in my backyard for the Monarch butterflies. I now know after reading this book my milkweed plants are a complex plant that not only provides food for my caterpillars but other insects too.

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When I saw this book advertised in Booklist I knew I had to read it. I love native plants, but I especially love the pollinator host plants like Joe Pye and Milkweed. I immediately squealed when I saw it on Net Galley, where I received it for review for free.

I have to say, it did not at all meet my expectations.

It exceeded them in every way possible. From the amazing botanical drawings, to the information presented I was absolutely delighted while I read. And I did read this in a single night, the first time. Vowing I would read it for enjoyment before I took down notes. I blew through it, hungry for more information. I was hoping to learn about my favorite variety, Swamp Milkweed, to which I was excited to see a section dedicated to just that, but I also walked away with the burning desire to look up so many more varieties listed in the book.

I read it the next night, taking notes for my Botany Studies, found myself marveling again, as though it was the first time I read it.

I would love a physical copy of this title, and it is going to be on my Christmas List for my husband or kids to pick up for me. As a mom in her 30’s they never know what to get me, and this is absolutely perfect.

I recommend to anyone who loves botany, or entomology, or who just loves flower gardening with native plants.

Note to the Author: this style of book and writing is perfect, easily digestible for the laymen or the beginner/intermediate scholar. I learned so much from this title, and even imparted knowledge to my history obsessed husband. Thank you for this work, it is both timely, considering the need, and well done.

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I had a great time reading this book. I liked how it blended the ecological information about the milkweed plant with beautiful artwork. The book is structured into short chapters and include illustrations that support the text. I almost felt like a kid again reading this book. It made me think more about plants and the ecosystems that they grow in.

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