Saturday, January 10, 2009

Asclepias tuberosa seeds

If you grow these in a garden that is not mowed you will have tons of 'free' plants a year or so after you have planted your first store-bought Milkweed (aka Butterfly weed) flowers. If you love your garden to be symmetrical and tidy this plant is not for you as it self-seeds freely and its appearance sometimes leaves a bit to be desired (yellowing leaves, aphids, eaten leaves, etc.).

On the other hand, if you are able to stand nature at its most perfectly imperfect the rewards will be many. The aphids that would normally attack other plants (think citrus, veg gardens, etc.) will naturally prefer Milkweed. Plus, you'll get to be a year-round Monarch butterfly host & get to see their development from egg to flying beauty. This plant is a host plant (meaning the plant of choice for laying eggs and feeding their larvae) for Soldier & Queen butterflies as well.

Its nectar feeds numerous butterflies: Queen, White Hairstreak, Striped Hairstreak, Spring Azure, Banded Hairstreak, Little Metalmark, Monarch, Pearl Crescent, Ruddy Dagggerwing, & Silvery Checkerspot.

IMPORTANT: all parts of this plant are toxic to animals.


Anonymous said...

There's some discussion about this plant, some say it's edible, some say it's toxic, but as far as I know, this only concerns the tubers. Young shoots wer eaten a long time ago (they have to be cooked). Did you save any of the seeds?

Gardening Fool said...

Hey there!

Thanks so much for adding that valuable info. I seem to remember reading about this being edible after processing it by boiling it for a few minutes...although, this one is one I am not sure I'd like to taste. I am happy to let it be for the butterflies alone :)

Yes, I have seeds me if you'd want me send you some.