Photo by Melody

Article: Milkweeds: which one's for your garden?: So Much to learn about Milkweed

Communities > Forums > Article: Milkweeds: which one's for your garden?
bookmark
Forum: Article: Milkweeds: which one's for your garden?Replies: 7, Views: 64
Add to Bookmarks
-
AuthorContent
GardenDetectives
Saint Peters, MO

October 12, 2009
12:39 PM

Post #7160604

Just had to have this plant to attract butterflies and found it on a clearance sale of herbs for $1 each. I thought I got the plant bargain of the year. How could it be an herb, must be a mistake or misplaced. So I grabbed up 5 of these bargain plants (A. curassavica or better known to me as Tropical Milkweed) and came home to do a little research and they were right...funny how what was old is new again. The scientific name refers to the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius, because of the long regarded medicinal qualities of the plants in this genus. However, many species in the family are poisonous and contain cardiac glysosides; the toxicity of which may cause death in livestock or humans. In the milkweed family, this particular species is native to South America and the Amazon rainforest. Because of its popularity as an ornamental plant, it has become a naturalized weed in tropical and subtropical pastures, fields and disturbed areas throughout the world, including central and southern Florida and Texas. This plant reseeded everywhere like crazy in my garden and my husband pulled them all as a weed...do you feel my pain?

The milkweed family is a large one with many species represented. Most of the milkweeds, reflective their common name, have a milky, usually toxic juice which flows freely from every cut or break of the plant.

Your article offers great information and is most helpful for those of us who want to attract butterflies to our garden. I found that Asclepius tuberosa was the variety which is a 'plant of merit' and Missouri native that I had intended to buy and perfect for my garden.

Thumbnail by GardenDetectives
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

October 13, 2009
2:41 AM

Post #7163425

GardenDetectives- Thanks for a very informative addition to the article!
NordicFletch
Stanchfield, MN

October 13, 2009
8:02 AM

Post #7163919

Garden Detectives, most of the milkweeds native to North America are actually edible -- the young pods, the young shoots, the flower buds & flowers. Yes, there are some milkweeds which are toxic to humans, but from what I have learned in just the past year alone, MOST North American milkweeds are very much edible.

In fact, when harvested at the proper stage of development, and prepared in the proper manner, they are delicious! Example: take Common Milkweed [A. syriaca] shoots while the young, tender leaves are holding close to the stalks, and strip both leaves and outer fibers from the stalk. Eat it raw, steamed or boiled - it is not poisonous! Just be sure you do not confuse it with its extremely toxic "looks-similar" (not "look-alike", as the one shoot merely resembles the other), dogbane.

Milkweed -- it's not just for butterflies.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

October 13, 2009
6:33 PM

Post #7165290

NF- your closing line is a hoot!
The dogbane I had, is much skinnier than the A syriaca I have.
This in the picture was IDed as hemp dogbane by someone on the ID forum.

Thumbnail by sallyg
Click the image for an enlarged view.

NordicFletch
Stanchfield, MN

October 14, 2009
4:50 AM

Post #7167025

I haven't found any dogbane here, yet...but I know it's lurking out there somewhere. Its fibers make a good cord, like milkweed fibers... As for A. syriaca being thicker than dogbane, I have seen a lot of thin, spindly A. syriaca shoots over the past few years -- the two in my garden were among them. They looked so much like dogbane shoots, I almost pulled 'em up right then.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

October 14, 2009
4:29 PM

Post #7168267

Well, then, nice that we can compare experience on these plants. Sorry for that poor quality pic I posted.
NordicFletch
Stanchfield, MN

October 16, 2009
10:04 AM

Post #7174695

Poor quality? That's actually better quality than I get from my camera most of the time... That dogbane of yours looks a bit like one of the dogwoods (Cornus stolonifera) I have growing "out back" (I use it for arrows). Of course, I've never seen any milkweed with reddish "bark".

The similarities start with the stem - dogbane stems are pretty much the same from shoot to "twig" status, except the shoots are more green(ish). The main differences 'tween dogbane and common milkweed shoots are in the leaves, and how they "hug" the shoot.

But I didn't know that the fruit of any dogbane is a long, bean-like pod.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

October 18, 2009
6:30 AM

Post #7181658

Interesting stuff.
I'm sorry I didn't get any more pictures to detail my 'dogbane' . My best clue was that it got a crop of milkweed moths cats. I have a scrap of the plant still, but no flowers this year.
Funny- I've had several batches of milkweed moths on A syriaca, and then seen none of those for several years now.

You cannot post until you register and login.


Other Article: Milkweeds: which one's for your garden? Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Thanks for milkweed info pajaritomt 9 Oct 14, 2009 12:27 AM
Houston Mildweed LeslieT 2 Oct 13, 2009 2:56 AM
Aphids on asclepias polsnickerty 4 Oct 13, 2009 6:29 PM
Common milkweed: pinch back and grow in RudysTreeFarm 4 Oct 27, 2009 8:35 PM
Non-seedpod producing Butterfly Weed Plant PeeOknee 4 Oct 13, 2009 6:26 PM


We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.
 

Hope for America