Milkweed - Asclepias Syriaca
Several species of milkweed are common across the United States. Their flowers are distinctive in shape and colors. Dark green leaves on tall stiff stems highlight these orange, pink, white or yellow flowers of the Ascelpiasfamily. Their tall stems mix well with other tall garden flowers. Their strong colors and ornamental flowers make great ornamental cut flowers. The sap of the milkweed is white, sticky and toxic. Milkweed is perennial. It is a beneficial conservation plant. Milkweed attracts native bees and honeybees as well as several species of butterflies and hummingbirds. Colorful Monarch butterfly larvae feed on the leaves and each develops into a beautiful chrysalis. Watch them hatch into delicate monarch butterflies.
This plant can be found frequently in gardens, along roads and in fields. They will have a bloom that is pinkish to purple little clusters that will hang down. They also will have a green pod that will turn brown and bust open to let out seeds.
This plant can spread under the ground by rhizomes which can quickly crowd out other plants. When one break the stem it will let out a milky like sap. This sap contains a toxic poison, called Cardiac Glycosides. Some wildlife can eat this and not be harmed. When the monarch butterfly eats on this plant it causes it to become a poisonous caterpillar to predators. The seeds will spread by the wind catching them and carrying them off.
Milkweed has small, delicate flowers that make up one
This plant will attract butterflies to your area and usually the monarch will lay their eggs on this plant. Once the caterpillars come out they will feed on the leaves. No need to fertilize as these will grow in the poorest of the soil. If you dont care for the seed to spread, you will want to remove the pods before they open or you will have seeds growing everywhere. Milkweed has a sappy flavor that can be used in food or wildlife animals use it.