The Main Plant entry for Milkweeds (Asclepias)

This database entry exists to show plant data and photos that apply generically to all Milkweeds.

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial

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Photo gallery:
Location: Willow Valley Communities Lakes Campus, Pennsylvania USADate: 2019-09-24What are these bugs?
By csandt
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Location: Athol, MADate: 2020-07-10#pollination    American Copper Butterfly
By joannakat
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Location: Willow Valley Communities, Lakes Campus, Willow Street, Pennsylvania USADate: 2019-06-17
By csandt
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Location: Willow Valley Communities, Lakes Campus, Willow Street, PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-06-16
By csandt
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Location: Athol, MADate: 2020-06-21
By joannakat
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Location: Willow Valley Communities, Lakes Campus, Willow Street, Pennsylvania USADate: 2019-09-07
By csandt
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Location: Willow Valley Communities, Lakes Campus, Willow Street, Pennsylvania USADate: 2019-06-05
By csandt
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Location: My GardensSwamp Milkweed With Monarch #pollination
By TBGDN
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Location: PennsylvaniaDate: 2011-07-23bumble bee on milkweed #pollination
By AudreyDee
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Date: 2019-06-19
By Paul2032
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Location: Willow Valley Communities Lakes Campus, Willow Street, Pennsylvania USADate: 2019-10-24
By csandt
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Date: 2016-06-14
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Date: 2016-06-14
By Paul2032
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Location: Athol, MADate: 2018-07-14
By joannakat
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Location: Athol, MADate: 2018-07-08
By joannakat
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Location: Athol, MADate: 2018-08-26
By joannakat
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Location: Willow Valley Communities, Lakes Campus, Willow Street, PennsylvaniaDate: 2020-06-16
By csandt
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Location: Athol, MADate: 2020-10-04
By joannakat
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Location: Cortez, ColoradoDate: 2010-07-14
By rocklady
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Location: La Crescenta, CADate: 2017-07-06
By JulieB
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Location: Athol, MADate: 2020-05-21
By joannakat
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Location: Athol, MADate: 2020-07-15#pollination  Gettin' busy in the milkweed!
By joannakat
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Location: Athol, MADate: 2020-10-04Just opening
By joannakat
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Location: Butterfly and milkweed (Asclepias sp.) on Pinnacles National Park Chalone Peak TrailDate: 2010-06-14Photo courtesy of: Miguel Vieira
By admin
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Location: Vander Veer Botanical Gardens - Davenport, IowaDate: 7-3-11
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2015-12-07
By jmorth
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Location: La Crescenta, CADate: 2017-05-22
By JulieB
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Location: Athol, MADate: 2018-05-15
By joannakat
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Location: My garden zone 5Date: 2016-09-24milkweed bugs on seed pod (they eat seeds)
By gardengus
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Location: Spring Run, Willow Valley Communities, Willow Street, Pennsylvania USADate: 2019-10-11
By csandt
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Location: Willow Valley Communities Lakes Campus, Willow Street, Pennsylvania USADate: 2020-06-08
By csandt
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Location: near Mississippi River (Iowa)Date: 2011-07-04wildflower
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2015-12-07
By jmorth
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Location: Riverside, CADate: 2016-08-03
By JulieB
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Location: La Crescenta, CADate: 2017-05-22
By JulieB
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Image
By pinkiris
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Date: 2019-06-13
By Paul2032
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Location: Willow Valley Communities, Lakes Campus, Willow Street, Pennsylvania USADate: 2019-06-26
By csandt
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Location: Quad Cities Botanical Garden, Rock Island, Il.Date: 2012-07-02
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2013-09-21
By jmorth
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Location: S E IowaDate: 7-3-11
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 9-21-13
By jmorth
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2013-09-22
By jmorth
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Location: Quad Cities Botanical Garden, Rock Island, Il.Date: 7-3-11
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Location: Southeastern IowaDate: 2011-07-03
By jmorth
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Location: Southeastern IowaDate: 2011-07-03
By jmorth
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Location: Vander Veer Botanical Gardens - Davenport, IowaDate: 7-3-11
By jmorth
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Location: La Crescenta, CADate: 2017-06-18
By JulieB
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Photo courtesy of Select Seeds.
By Joy
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Location: Willow Valley Communities, Lakes Campus, Willow Street, Pennsylvania USADate: 2019-06-17
By csandt
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Comments:
Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 5, 2014 9:02 AM

"The Milkweed plant contains a chemical called cardenolides. This chemical is a form of a steroid and is a cardiac arrester (stops the heart). Different species of Milkweed have differing concentrations of this chemical. When a Monarch caterpillar eats the leaves from the Milkweed plant it ingests the cardenolides which then makes it toxic to many vertebrate predators. For example, if a bird ate a Monarch butterfly or caterpillar it would throw up. Research has found that Monarchs that have high levels of cardenolides (from having eaten those Milkweed plants with higher concentrations of the chemical) are much less susceptible to being predated by birds and mice! Isn't this a great way to keep the 'bad guys' away?" (My Monarch Guide.com)

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Posted by Marilyn (Kentucky - Zone 6a) on May 20, 2013 9:29 PM

"Milkweed is named for its milky juice which consists of a latex containing alkaloids and several other complex compounds including cardenolides. Some species are known to be toxic.

Asclepias species produce their seeds in follicles. The seeds, which are arranged in overlapping rows, have white silky filament-like hairs known as pappus, silk, or floss. The follicles ripen and split open and the seeds, each carried by several dried pappus, are blown by the wind. They have many different flower colorations.

Milkweeds are an important nectar source for bees and other nectar-seeking insects, and a larval food source for monarch butterflies and their relatives, as well as a variety of other herbivorous insects (including numerous beetles, moths, and true bugs) specialized to feed on the plants despite their chemical defenses.

Milkweeds use three primary defenses to limit damage caused by caterpillars: hairs on the leaves, cardenolide toxins, and latex fluids. Data from a DNA study indicate more recently evolved milkweed species use less of these preventative strategies, but grow faster than older species, potentially regrowing faster than caterpillars can consume them.

Milkweed is beneficial to nearby plants, repelling some pests, especially wireworms.

Being the sole food source of monarch butterfly larvae, the plant is often used in butterfly gardening.

In a garden, milkweed flowers will produce a strong and beautiful fragrance that will be as powerful as in any other flower."

Taken from wikipedia's page at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...

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Posted by Newyorkrita (North Shore, Long Island, NY ) on Sep 19, 2013 5:00 PM

I do like both the white-flowered and the pink-flowered types of milkweed. Both are pretty and I grow both in my garden. The butterflies don't seem to be choosy. They also like both. Bees and butterflies both visit the flowers when they are in bloom, but Milkweed is the host plant for the Monarch Butterfly.

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Plant Events from our members
MrsBinWY On March 24, 2019 Seeds germinated
2; 5 on 3-26-19
MrsBinWY On February 2, 2019 Seeds sown
last of seeds from Joyce's in 2017 in milk jug in cold sun room; 3-22-19 moved to room temp
MrsBinWY On March 18, 2018 Seeds sown
8x2 seeds from Joyce's in 2017 in 2.25" pots in garden hoop; one couple germinated right away but failed (probably from hot daytime temps in hoop); another germinated later but failed (probably from my bad watering)
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Bravo for catching a moment by tabbycat Jun 17, 2019 7:25 PM 0
Bugs by RuuddeBlock Sep 24, 2019 4:52 PM 1
Looking for a bushy plant for container for south west exposure by skopjecollection Dec 15, 2020 11:23 AM 5
Rain, Standing water, Hard Frost....oh my! by donnacook66 Oct 31, 2020 11:10 AM 0
Fern-Like/Pea-Like Volunteer by MrsBinWY Oct 23, 2020 10:23 PM 0
Is this a type of milkweed? by christinereid54 Oct 9, 2020 4:43 PM 5
Identify by Tkhan Sep 21, 2020 5:32 PM 3
Will these perennials overwinter in pots oustide, or should they be planted? by Akeath Oct 9, 2020 12:07 PM 3
Asclepias speciosa question by kenandellie Sep 19, 2020 4:54 PM 1
Volunteered in my earthbox by aeliusdionys Aug 22, 2020 5:07 PM 6
How much does swamp milkweed need to be watered in a small pot? by Miamiu Aug 11, 2020 1:19 PM 5
Perennial garden ideas? by BC07 Aug 10, 2020 6:56 PM 6

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