In the prairie, cup plant serves as a natural water source for wildlife. Wildlife need sheltered spots to raise their offspring or future generations will not survive. Much of what I planted that provides cover also serves as a place to raise young. But there are some additional steps I've taken to specifically provide places to raise young. First, I've planted milkweed. Milkweed
is the only source of food
for caterpillars of monarch butterflies. Monarch butterflies cannot reproduce without milkweed. As we've replaced natural habitat (that included milkweed) with suburban lawns and agricultural areas, we've destroyed milkweeed plants. Gardeners can help reverse this trend and aid declining monarch butterfly populations by planting milkweed in their yards. Almost every year we find monarch caterpillars on our milkweed. We also find milkweed bugs, another species dependent on milkweed.