Milkweed could become the Illinois state wildflower under legislation pending in the General assembly. The proposal would also prohibit local governments from treating it as a noxious weed.
Vanessa Tyler is a Girl Scout who attends Pleasant Plains Middle School, near Springfield. She and her troop lobbied lawmakers to support the proposed state designation. She says it’ll help people think twice about killing milkweed.
“More people would want to plant it because, you know, it would be the state wildflower, so it would be kind of cool for people to plant it.”
Milkweed got a bad name in the days when Illinois had more cattle grazing. Farmers found cows would get sick eating it. But Tyler says if it became the state wildflower, more people would think milkweed was cool.
The legislation has bipartisan support, but it’s likely to have at least one opponent. State Senator Tom Rooney, from Rolling Meadows, has proposed repealing ALL state designations, including the state insect: the monarch butterfly.