$2.95 – $7.95
Plant these for the Monarch Butterflies!
Soil: Dry, Mesic
Flowers: There are about 15,130 flowers to each flower cluster. Each flower has 5 recurved petals around a central crown.
Leaves: The leaves are opposite and ovate to elliptical. They are slightly hairy on the top and very hairy on the bottom. They contain a white, milky sap.
This a host plant for the larval(caterpillar) stage of the Monarch Butterfly. They are an important food source for them. Monarch butterflies are in serious decline! Please plant Milkweeds!
Medicinal Uses: Milkweed is toxic if not properly prepared. It is poisonous to humans and livestock. Yet, it has been used as a medicine by many Native America tribes. While it was used for such ailments as stomachaches and warts, its primary use was for contraception, venereal diseases and to increase milk production in nursing mothers. One contraceptive recipe used a handful of pulverized milkweed and three jack-in the pulpit rhizomes boiled in water.
Food Uses: Roots, shoots and young stems and flower heads were boiled and eaten by several Native American tribes. You can boil and batter the flowers and eat them like fritters. The shoots can be eaten if boiled in several changes of water. The flowers can be boiled down into a sugar like substance.
Other Uses: During WWII, the plumes from the seeds were used as a substitute for kapok in life jackets. The sap was tested as a rubber substitute. In Europe, the plumes were used in pillows and hats. It was used as a fiber for cordage. The plant was cut in the fall and split open to reveal the long fibers. These fibers were twisted together to make ropes, cords, and rough clothing.
More Info: Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on the leaves. The toxins in the leaves make the Monarch caterpillar distasteful to predators.
Name: The name Asclepias is from the name of the Greek god of medicine, Asklepios.
Other Names: Virginia-silk, algodoncillo, silky swallowwort, herbe ˆ la ouate, Seidenpflanze