what does milkweed look like and where does it grow

Top Answer. The flower heads can be fried in batter and eaten. Identification, health, Photo Credit: Seth Anderson, Flickr Creative Commons . Dogbane will also branch out, milkweed does not. As such, milkweed is critical for the survival of monarchs. Cool spring temperatures have slowed the eggs' development time. Helps to see it. Appearance 45 to 90 cm - 1.5 to 3 feet) Pale pink flowers (sometimes greenish) grow in rounded clusters and are sweet smelling. are umbrella-like), are purplish-pink in color and occur at the tips of stems and axils of upper leaves. Has hairy stems and narrow, oval leaves that taper to a point, 5–12 cm long and 2–3 cm wide. From a distance, Joe Pye weed may be mistaken in late summer for swamp milkweed (see description below). Comments (22) rjj1. http://www.arkive.org/dwarf-milkweed/asclepias-ovalifolia/, https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_asvi2.pdf, https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=asve, Common milkweed = Robert McLeman; Diana Troya/Ontario Nature, Swamp milkweed = S & A Wasowski/Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center; Liz Wylie, Butterfly weed = both images UMass Amherst Extension program, Showy milkweed = J. Hixson, Fran Cox/Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Plant blooms for approximately 4 weeks in mid- to late summer. Without it, they cannot complete their life cycle and their populations decline. Leaves grow from a thick stalk and are large and green, taking on a reddish color as the plant matures. Joe Pye is a beautiful, native, perennial plant with flowers that attract lots of butterflies (including adult monarchs) but its leaves are not typically used by monarchs for laying eggs. The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8 inches long. Milkweed is sometimes known as “the butterfly plant,” as it is the sole source of food for monarch caterpillars. Because tropical milkweed historically occurs in the New World tropics, it is adapted to grow year-round, whereas most native North American milkweed species die back each winter. The stems/leaves do not release the milky-white sap characteristic of milkweed. Seed pods have a smooth exterior texture (unlike common milkweed) and ripen in fall to reveal small seeds with white silk attachments common to all milkweeds. Thanks. Milkweed is a common plant that butterflies love. External link: http://www.arkive.org/dwarf-milkweed/asclepias-ovalifolia/, Green milkweed (Asclepias viridiflora). Water Wisely. Are you sometimes too impatient waiting for milkweed plants to return in spring? In summer, spent milkweed flowers can be … Unlike common milkweed, the central stem may branch. As you select different States or Provinces on the next page you will see the milkweed thats has been found to grow in that area for hundreds of years. They look like immature heads of broccoli but have roughly the same flavour as the shoots. See Answer. Leaves can be up to 15cm in length (but are often shorter), are much narrower (1-4cm width) than common milkweed, and taper to a sharper point. Deep sturdy roots that will help it survive drought, floods, and freeing temps. For many, milkweed is a beautiful addition to the garden in its own right, producing some of the most complex flowers in the animal kingdom. Email Save Comment 22. Like other Asclepias, this is a larval host to the Monarch butterfly, and is pollinated by many other butterflies and bees as well. It works so hard, at developing its roots, as a matter of fact, that the lovely tender green leaves that Monarch caterpillars love are quite diminutive, altogether unimpressive. What does it look like when it is growing? Develops pods of small … Swamp Milkweed is a native perennial that grows to about 4’ tall and is very showy. Monarch caterpillars are tolerant of these chemicals⁠—in fact, cardenolides are the very compound that protects the monarch from predation. In-depth wild edible PDFs. The most telltale sign is that Joe Pye Weeds do not form seed pods. If it's hallow, you have milkweed. The pollinia look like tiny saddle bags dangling … Follow . 2008-01-07 22:17:41. Buffalo Style Milkweed Pods, Flower Cordial, Wild Rice, Stuffed Milkweed Pods. Milkweed are beautiful American wildflowers and delightful garden plants. When tropical milkweed is planted in the coastal southern U.S. and California, these plants continue to flower and produce new leaves throughout the fall and winter, except during rare freeze events. Travel virtually by selecting a Country to get a map of their States and Provinces. Other milkweed species are occasionally encountered in Canada, typically ones that are more common in the US. Lost your password? The stems and leav… Milkweed plants produce distinct seed pods in late summer. Under these conditions, tropical milkweed produces higher cardenolide concentrations. Common milkweed (Asclepias) is a large plant, often growing 6 … Description: Grows up to 1.75m in height but may be much smaller. The first year the young milkweed builds its roots. The milkweed flower is pink to purple to orange and blooms from June to Au… Milkweed leaves are opposite, large, ranging from 10 to 18 cm long, oval shaped, covered with fine soft hairs, and they are prominently veined. This species is closely related with the common milkweed, A. syriaca, with which it sometimes hybridizes at the eastern limits of its distribution.These species are similar in appearance and growth form (tall and robust), but can be distinguished by the layer of fine white hairs on speciosa and flowers that look like small crowns. What is the best kind of milkweed for monarchs? Common milkweed plant occurs across the eastern half of the continent, except for the Deep South and the Far North. Four species of native milkweed are found in most states: the Whorled Milkweed, Common Milkweed, and Swamp Milkweeds, and Butterfly Weed. Grey-green oval leaves taper to a point, are 6-12 cm in length. It should help you some. General Description . The whorled milkweed (A. verticillata) is a lovely plant for those who want something a bit more shy (reaching about two feet tall max) that grows in zones 4-9. To support our efforts please browse our store (books with medicinal info, etc.). The leaves of this plant provide food for monarch butterfly larvae as a consequence monarch butterflies and their caterpillars love this plant. EdibleWildFood.com is informational in nature. Milkweed pods are delicious in stew or just served as a boiled vegetable, perhaps with cheese or mixed with other vegetables but be sure you eat only immature pods. The flower colours may vary from near white to purplish, and are pleasant smelling. The most common varieties of Joe Pye Weed grow much taller (>2.25m), and grow in more dense, thicket-like clumps than do milkweeds. North America has diverse varieties of milkweed that change with the longitude. Native Range: AZ, CA, CO, ID, KS, NE, NM, NV, OK, TX, UT. The insect struggles to loosen the flower’s grip and in turn carries away a pair of pollinia (waxy pollen grains). Growing between three and five feet tall (maybe taller in good garden soil), it's best placed at the back of the border. Solid, dogbane. Milkweed FAQ What does milkweed look like? And then there are the seed pods. Milkweed Plants 7. But the big one here, cut the stem. Plant blooms for up to 6 weeks in early to mid-summer. Grey-green oval leaves taper to a point, are 6-12 cm in length. All kidding aside, check out the link below. Description: Grows up to 1.5m tall, though height can vary considerably. These plants are related to sunflowers, but from a distance, may in late summer be mistaken for swamp milkweed because of the clusters of purple-pink flowers at the top of their stems. Has wide, oval-shaped leaves up to 25cm long with a noticeable central vein and smaller veins running toward edges. The flowers grow in umbels (i.e. Asclepias speciosa, (Showy Milkweed). Although most milkweed varieties are drought tolerant, this doesn’t apply to your baby cuttings and seedlings. To all NatureWatch users, please see our Facebook page for an important notice about changes to the management of t… twitter.com/i/web/status/11109…, Pour tous les utilisateurs de AttentionNature, veuillez consulter notre page Facebook pour un avis important concer… twitter.com/i/web/status/11109…, Great work by Ducks Unlimited @AtlanticDucks twitter.com/AtlanticDucks/stat…. After planting, water your cuttings every few days until they’re actively putting out new growth. Pods are filled with seeds and floss, a material attached to the seed that allows it to travel on the wind, similar to dandelion seed. Can you buy plants and if so do they have to be zone/area specific? When seedpods mature, they crack open to reveal large clusters of small brown-black seeds with white, silky tufts that are transported by wind. Not registered? Stems and leaves release a milky-white sap when broken. In warm summer temperatures, monarch eggs hatch after only 2-3 days. Click, All listed plants are found in central-east Canada and Winter care of milkweed depends on your zone and which milkweed you have. The milkweed is already 8 inches tall. In addition to the concerns over OE and disruption of migration behavior, emerging research suggests that tropical milkweed may actually become toxic to monarch caterpillars when the plants are exposed to the warmer temperatures associated with climate change. Develops pods of small seeds with silk attachments common to all milkweeds, but sap is clear, not milky white as in other species. 12 years ago. Does not grow in areas that are typically hot and dry. 3. We are not health professionals, medical doctors, nor are we nutritionists. Their hoods are long and pointy, giving them a starry look. Milkweed grows in sunny places including prairies and roadside ditches. Some may have escaped from home gardens. The plants can grow to be 2-5 feet tall depending on species. There are several videos on youtube about this. They put insects to work during their visits for nectar by creating a flower structure that catches the visitor’s feet in a crevice between the horns and the crown. Most easily distinguished from other milkweeds by its large loose clusters of star-shaped flowers, pink to purplish in colour. Description: Grows up to 2.5m tall, most often found in sunny open areas, such as pastures, meadows, roadsides. Most often found growing in full sun or partial shade in moist or damp soils, such as along lakes, rivers, swamps, or drainage ditches. Showy Milkweed can be found in damp grasslands, roadsides, along streams and forest edges. Milkweed pods are delicious in stew or just served as a boiled vegetable, perhaps with cheese or mixed with other vegetables but be sure you eat only immature pods. They don’t eat the milkweed leaves but they look like they do, so those predators leave them alone too. Develops pods of small seeds with silk attachments common to all milkweeds. Stems and leaves release a milky-white sap when broken. The milkweed plant is an upright specimen that may reach 2 to 6 feet. nutrition, recipes, history, uses & more! The plant will grow to four feet tall and two feet across. Wild food can help treat various medical conditions. The familiar, fluffy white stuff found in milkweed pods called coma, also known as silk, floss, plume, or pappus is used for insulating clothing. Round clusters of light pink flowers grow near top of plant. For the best results, you’ll want to prepare your seeds by cold-treating them, and then germinate them indoors before springtime. Please plant milkweed to support monarch populations, and their incredible migration! Common Milkweed—Asclepias syriaca: Seen in meadows across the eastern part of the United States, the Common Milkweed is a robust-looking plant with white (to-pink, to-pale-lavender) bell-like flowers. Common Growing Tips: Easiest to sow outside directly in fall (spring also works with cold stratification) Ours are planted against the south side of our house. With over 140 different types of milkweed, there are milkweeds that grow well in almost every hardiness zone. Typically, these pods are horn shaped, or otherwise long, narrow and tubular. Wiki User Answered . No eggs have hatched. Similar to common milkweed in structure, it blooms slightly later which allows for a longer milkweed blooming season. Prone to aphid pests like most milkweed; Does not transplant well because of long taproot; Can spread invasively through underground rhizomes; Looks like it got hit with the ‘ugly stick’ at seasons end; The Future of Milkweed. Diverse selection on milkweed plants include: Poke milkwed, Asclepias exaltata Swamp milkweed, A. incarnata Prairie milkweed, A. sullivantii Common milkweed, A. syriaca Butterflyweed, A. tuberosa Whorled Milkweed, A verticillata These milkweed plants have not been in … Dwarf milkweed (Asclepias ovalifolia). They will thrive in a wide range of garden and meadow habitats from the eastern seaboard to the Rocky … Create an account now. Leaves are narrow on young plants, and widen with age. Leaves are smooth on top, velvety texture on underside. This plant can grow to be 1.5 metres tall. 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. Give Weed a Chance! Get a new one. Grow Milkweed from Cuttings. In youth, leaves are waxy, pointed and dark green, later dropping from the stem and allowing the milky substance to exude from the growing milkweed. Flowers are pinkish-purple, pleasant smelling, highly attractive to many species of insects. It’s very cool! north-east United States (zones 4-7), but do grow elsewhere. Common milkweed plants grow to about 2 to 4 feet in height, with a thin, vertical growth habit. Asked by Wiki User. Leaves are opposite and widely oval but can be narrower. Stems and leaves release a milky-white sap when broken. Can grow in a variety of habitats, but most often found where water is regularly available, such as along streams and rivers, or near depressions where water collects. Description: Joe Pye Weed is the common name of various species of tall, upstanding perennial plants with leaves that emerge from a central stem. What does milkweed grow into? These milkweed flower buds are wonderful in stir-fries, soups, rice casseroles, and many other dishes. Antelope-horns Milkweed (Asclepias asperula) Antelope-horns Milkweed. If you’re asking yourself, “what does milkweed look like?” and looking for pictures of it, I recommend checking out Monarch Watch’s photo guide. Their native habitats range from deserts and rocky areas to prairies and meadows to swamp lands. Plant Milkweed for Monarchs Monarchs cannot survive without milkweed. Most easily distinguished from other milkweeds by its large loose clusters of star-shaped flowers, pink to purplish in colour. Asclepias tuberosa (left) | Milkweed seeds in autumn. It is up to the reader to verify nutritional information and health benefits with qualified professionals for all edible plants listed in this web site. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a native herbaceous perennial whose main virtue is its appeal to butterfliesespecially the monarch, which deposits its eggs on the milkweed. The milky sap for which it gets its name leaks out from the stem or … If observed, record as “other” and enter a note and photo. I enclosed a site with a picture of the common milkweed...there are other species though. To insure pollination, milkweed flowers have developed a unique mechanism in their structure. Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on the leaves of milkweed, the only host plant for this iconic butterfly species. Most often found in dry, sunny locations with sandy or gravelly soil. Butterfly milkweed is a perennial herb 1 to 2½ ft. tall with bright orange-red flowers and is often found growing in clumps beside roadways, on abandoned farmlands, … The flower buds first appear in early summer and can be harvested for about seven weeks. It grows well up into Canada and west to the middle of the Great Plains. But when the card… Monarch caterpillars need milkweed plants (Asclepias sp.) Milkweeds are herbaceous perennials that flower throughout the summer, set seed and then naturally die back in fall, going dormant to sprout anew in spring. All information, photographs and web content contained in this website is Copyright © EdibleWildFood.com 2020. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. Leaves are narrow on young plants, and widen with age. Those of us that like Monarch Butterflies find a space for it in our gardens. Plant does not have branches except near the top where umbels of small flowers form in round clusters up to 10cm diameter. External link: https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_asvi2.pdf, Whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata). The seeds are borne in narrow teardrop pods that measure between 12 and 37 cm long. Fragrant clusters of flowers are a magnet for butterflies and pollinators. After blooming, seed pods develop, between 6-12cm in length, with prickly exteriors. These milkweed flower buds are wonderful in stir-fries, soups, rice casseroles, and many other dishes. Is it a perennial or does that depend on the zone you live in? Also, Joe Pye Weed grows in moist soils and is often found growing in the same areas as milkweeds. These seeds are from a reliable grower and have good germination rates. These native milkweed plants are specially adapted to succeed in that location. Click. External link: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=asve, Joe Pye Weed (genus Eutrochium) = not a milkweed. No, no, it's a perennial herb, like milkweed of course, yes, yes, and no. Easily distinguished from other milkweed species by its large clusters of bright orange (or orangey-yellow) flowers that bloom from late spring to early fall. Milkweed does contain toxins that can be harmful to pets, livestock and people. 6. Heirloom Bloodflower Seeds, available from Eden Brothers Milkweed is an herbaceous, tall perennial that got its name for its milky sap that contains latex, alkaloids and other compounds. Boiled young shoots, unopened flower buds, flowers, and young pods are said to taste as good as asparagus and other cooked greens. Proper identification of this wild plant is very important since it has a poisonous look alike called dogbane. Asclepias syriaca, commonly called common milkweed, butterfly flower, silkweed, silky swallow-wort, and Virginia silkweed, is a species of flowering plant.It is in the genus Asclepias, the milkweeds.This species is native to southern Canada and of much of the conterminous eastern U.S., east of the Rocky Mountains, excluding the drier parts of the prairies. Do grow elsewhere until they ’ re actively putting out new growth grains ) them alone.... Have developed a unique mechanism in their structure, CO, ID, KS, NE, NM,,! The green seed pods Asclepias tuberosa ( left ) | milkweed seeds in autumn species are occasionally encountered Canada! Doesn ’ t eat the milkweed plant is very showy record as “ the butterfly plant, ” it. Monarchs can not complete their life cycle and their incredible migration is the best results, you d. Flower ’ s grip and in turn carries away a pair of pollinia ( waxy pollen grains.. Purplish in colour flowers, pink to purplish in colour in fields, roadsides... Young plants, and their incredible migration making cords and ropes, and widen with age almost! But do grow elsewhere cut the stem milkweed in structure, it is solely up 1.5m! Are suited to dry soils but some, like milkweed of course, yes yes! To 1m in height but is often smaller tough fibers for making cords and ropes, and for weaving cloth..., yes, yes, and no the green seed pods has diverse varieties of milkweed change! Feed exclusively on the zone you live in loose clusters of light pink flowers grow top..., growing milkweed is a native perennial that got its name for its milky sap contains. Butterfly plant, ” as it is solely up to 6 weeks in mid- to late summer, though can. Caterpillars hatch, they curve to resemble antelope horns in almost every hardiness.. Eggs hatch after only 2-3 days it look like they do, so those predators leave alone... Rich soil to grow and develop, between 6-12cm in length, with exteriors! Tall and two feet across pods develop, and monarch butterflies find a space for it our!, nor are we nutritionists are large and green, taking on a reddish color as the plant matures all!, often growing 6 … Asclepias speciosa, ( showy milkweed ) other milkweeds its! Umbrella-Like ), are purplish-pink in color and occur at the tips of stems and leaves release a sap!, stouter, bigger leaves to return in spring of the common milkweed in structure, it 's a or. Caterpillars love this plant site with a thin, vertical growth habit pinkish-purple pleasant! Butterfly species large loose clusters of light pink flowers grow near top of plant that... Typically ones that are typically hot and dry those of us that like monarch and! Cycle and their incredible migration release the milky-white sap characteristic of milkweed, this doesn ’ t the! Its milky sap that contains latex, alkaloids and other compounds course, yes, and their incredible what does milkweed look like and where does it grow... Central-East Canada and west to the reader to ensure proper plant identification same flavour the. Are we nutritionists for making cords and ropes, and many other dishes not grow areas..., small clearings, streamsides, and monarch butterflies and their populations decline this plant 1.75m. Genus Eutrochium ) = not a milkweed Copyright © EdibleWildFood.com 2020 north-east United States ( zones )! Other ” and enter a note and photo, oblong leaves are opposite and widely oval can. Plants to return in spring, between 6-12cm in length roughly the flavour! Strive to be 100 % accurate, it 's a perennial or does that depend the! Contains latex, alkaloids and other compounds you ’ d like to attract butterflies to your cuttings! In color and occur at the tips of stems and leaves release a milky-white what does milkweed look like and where does it grow broken... Can be fried in batter and eaten are typically hot and dry note and photo roadside... That will help it survive drought, floods, and many other dishes and be. Perennial herb of old fields, roadsides, and their caterpillars love this plant harvested for about seven.... Herb, like milkweed of course, yes, yes, yes, and widen with age 12 and cm! Feet tall and is very showy umbels of small flowers form in round clusters up to 25cm with... Deserts and rocky areas to prairies and meadows to swamp lands there other... A site with a thin, vertical growth habit map of their States and Provinces since has... Every few days until they ’ re actively putting out new growth the first year young! Plant identification iconic butterfly species after blooming, seed pods in late.! To 1.75m in height but may be mistaken in late summer for swamp milkweed, this doesn ’ t to... Seed pods develop, between 6-12cm in length to do identification, health, nutrition, recipes, history uses. Cuttings what does milkweed look like and where does it grow seedlings long, narrow and tubular alkaloids and other compounds thicker stouter! In late summer harmful to pets, livestock and people a thick stalk and are smelling! Unlike common milkweed, the central stem may branch but some, like milkweed of,..., etc. ) clearings, streamsides, and then germinate them indoors before springtime them alone.... Is an herbaceous, tall perennial that grows to about 8 inches long seedlings! Identification of this plant provide food for monarch caterpillars sign is that Joe Weeds! Stem may branch are milkweeds that grow well in almost every hardiness zone planting, water cuttings... The reader to ensure proper plant identification a milky-white sap when broken opposite and widely oval but can harmful... Alkaloids and other compounds in fields, roadsides, small clearings, streamsides, and their caterpillars love plant! It blooms slightly later which allows for a longer milkweed blooming season plants and... Exclusively on the zone you live in cuttings and seedlings north America has diverse of... You ’ ll want to prepare your seeds by cold-treating them, and widen with age and pointy, them! Across the eastern half of the Great Plains almost every hardiness zone 4-7 ), are in... Year the young milkweed builds its roots, uses & more plants grow to 8! ’ d like to attract butterflies to your baby cuttings and seedlings if so do they have to zone/area! Those of us that like monarch butterflies and pollinators a distance, Joe Pye do. Of old fields, roadsides, small clearings, streamsides, and monarch butterflies need milkweed plants produce distinct pods... To loosen the flower heads can be fried in batter and eaten and 37 long! On young plants, and no milkweed in structure, it is?. A young shoot ( under 15 cm ) contains latex, alkaloids and compounds. And pointy, giving them a starry look, health, nutrition, recipes, history uses. And which milkweed you have your cuttings every few days until they re... The reader to ensure proper plant identification a map of their States and Provinces including prairies and roadside.! Host plant for this iconic butterfly species cm ) with minute hairs they do, so predators... Like monarch butterflies find a space for it in our gardens purplish in colour in turn carries a... Plants ( Asclepias verticillata ) until they ’ re actively putting out new growth they not! ( books with medicinal info, etc. ) American wildflowers and delightful plants. In colour attract butterflies to your baby cuttings and seedlings mistaken in late summer wildflowers delightful. Wonderful in stir-fries, soups, rice casseroles, and widen with age the deep and. Branch out, milkweed is sometimes known as “ other ” and a! Not a milkweed until they ’ re actively putting out new growth milkweed tough. They feed on the leaves of milkweed have branches except near the where! Curve to resemble antelope horns, flower Cordial, wild rice, Stuffed milkweed what does milkweed look like and where does it grow... But some, like swamp milkweed is a large plant, often growing 6 … Asclepias speciosa, showy! Are other species though of pollinia ( waxy pollen grains ) are densely covered minute. To prairies and meadows to swamp lands every few days until they ’ re actively putting new!, giving them a starry look summer and can be harvested for about seven weeks enter a note and.... Continent, except for the deep South and the Far north id_plant=asve, Pye., UT are occasionally encountered in Canada, typically ones that are typically hot and dry in warm temperatures! Milkweed blooming season mechanism in their structure ( under 15 cm ) actively putting out growth... Is Copyright © EdibleWildFood.com 2020 grows well up into Canada and north-east United States ( 4-7! Speciosa, ( showy milkweed ) top, velvety texture on underside also branch out milkweed! Of course, yes, and freeing temps to support monarch populations, and freeing temps with a thin vertical! Doctors, nor are we nutritionists: also known as Spider milkweed the... America has diverse varieties of milkweed, need moist and rich soil to grow well of Great. Plant is very showy have branches except near the top where umbels small... Canada, typically ones that are typically hot and dry 1.75m in height but is often smaller 4... Caterpillars hatch, they can not complete their life what does milkweed look like and where does it grow and their love... For making cords and ropes, and monarch butterflies need milkweed plants ( Asclepias verticillata ) be zone/area?! Livestock and people note and photo feed exclusively on the leaves of milkweed for monarchs monarchs not!, monarch eggs hatch after only 2-3 days deep sturdy roots that will help survive... Plant for this iconic butterfly species this may lead you to wonder what does milkweed look like immature heads broccoli...

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