What is milkweed and what does it look like?

What is milkweed and what does it look like?

Milkweed is perhaps most well-known for its seeds; they are flat, 8 mm long, reddish-brown, and have a pappus of silky hair at one end. The seeds are borne in narrow teardrop pods that measure between 12 and 37 cm long.

Why is the milkweed plant harmful?

Milkweed does contain toxins that can be harmful to pets, livestock and people. The milky sap for which it gets its name leaks out from the stem or leaves. This sap contains toxins called cardiac glycosides or cardenolides, which are toxic to animals if consumed in large quantities. The good news?

What is the plant milkweed good for?

Although potentially poisonous, the plant has been used for medicinal purposes as well. Many indigenous tribes applied milkweed sap for wart removal and chewed its roots to treat dysentery. It was also used in salves and infusions to treat swelling, rashes, coughs, fevers and asthma.

What does milkweed look like when it comes up?

Fruit: Milkweeds produce large seedpods (3 to 5 inches long) after flowering. Pale green and covered with bumps, the pods eventually turn brown and split open, releasing up to 200 flat, brown seeds. Silky white hairs attached to each seed facilitate wind dispersal.

Does milkweed come back every year?

These native milkweed are perennials, meaning they come back year after year. Their aerial parts (flower, leaves, stem) die back but their rootstock remains alive throughout the winter. Cut back milkweed stalks in the late fall or winter, after they have produced seed pods and these seeds have had time to mature.

Is milkweed safe to touch?

All parts of the plant contain toxic cardiac glycosides, which can cause nausea, diarrhea, weakness, and confusion in small amounts, and seizures, heart rhythm changes, respiratory paralysis, and even death in large amounts. Milkweed can also irritate the skin and eyes if touched.

Does milkweed grow back every year?

Is milkweed poisonous to touch?

Does milkweed spread fast?

Milkweed is one of the Monarch Butterflies’ favorite plants and will bring many winged friends to your garden or meadow. It can be a challenge to grow but once established it will thrive for years to come and spread quickly. Perennial.

Where should you not plant milkweed?

For these reasons, the Xerces Society does not recommend planting milkweed (non-native or native) close to overwintering sites (within 5-10 miles of the coast) in Central and Northern coastal California where it did not occur historically (see State of the Overwintering Sites Report for additional information).

Where can I find stock photos of milkweed?

Browse 564 common milkweed stock photos and images available, or search for sunflower to find more great stock photos and pictures. “Common Milkweed” flowers – Asclepias Syriaca “Common Milkweed” flowers (or Butterfly Flower, Silkweed, Silky Swallow Wort, Virginia Silkweed) in Innsbruck, Austria.

What kind of flower is common milkweed?

Fruit of Asclepias Syriaca Closeup of the Asclepias Syriaca fruit, also called milkweed or silkweed. This plant produces latex common milkweed stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images Milkweed Seedhead Close-up Asclepias syriaca, commonly called Common Milkweed, Butterfly flower, Silkweed, is a herbaceous plant.

How are the pods on a milkweed plant identified?

Milkweed fruits or pods are easy to identify although their size and shape can vary. Once they are mature, the pods split longitudinal and relase the seeds within. The seeds are dispersed by wind so they are light and fluffy. Showy milkweed ( A. speciosa) pods, seeds, and floss. Photo: Ed Ogle/flickr. CC BY 2.0.

When does a swamp milkweed plant bloom?

This plant bloom in early to mid-summer, producing small, fragrant, and pink to sometimes white colored flowers in rounded umbels. Swamp milkweed grows in damp to wet soils and also is cultivated as a garden plant for its flowers, which attract butterflies and other pollinators with nectar.

How did the milkweed plant get its name?

Milkweeds ( Asclepias) get their name from the sticky white sap that oozes from the leaves when they are damaged. More than 100 species of this herbaceous perennial are native to the U.S. and Canada.

What are the uses of milkweed plants?

Once upon a time, milkweed was commonly used in a number of natural remedies: Native Americans taught early European settlers how to properly cook milkweed so that it could be safely eaten. (See note below.) The milky white sap was applied topically to remove warts, and the roots were chewed to cure dysentery. Infusions of the roots and leaves were taken to suppress coughs and used to treat typhus fever and asthma.

How do you grow milkweed from seed?

Start milkweed seeds indoors 8 to 12 weeks before the last frost in your area. Fill cell packs with high-quality seed-starting soil mix and drop three to four milkweed seeds per cell over the surface of the soil. Cover the seeds with a quarter-inch of soil and water thoroughly. Place the cell pack tray in…

What do milkweed plants produce?

The third year a mature milkweed plant has developed, it produces large lush foliage , ample flowers, and will serve as a nectar source for adult butterflies and bees, and there is plenty of leaves for the caterpillars. After a long-bloom that can last much of the summer, seed pods will form that open in the fall, starting the cycle anew.