Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Common milkweedA native plant in central and eastern North America, Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) blooms during the summer.  Typically, it can be found along roadsides and fields.

The spring shoots arise from underground root buds or from newly germinating seeds.

Common milkweedA single mature plant will have flower buds and flowers in various stages of development at any single point in time.

Common milkweedThe ball-like inflorescence is an umbel containing dozens of flowers on distinct pedicels (flower stalks).

Common milkweedDried seed pods remain on the plant throughout winter and early spring.

Common milkweed

Watch this video about Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) to learn about the plant’s decussate leaf arrangement, to study the flowers with their intricate parts, and to see the tightly packed seeds in their pod.

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(Here’s the same video as posted on YouTube.)

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One Response to Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

  1. Vic Lea says:

    This is wonderful detail about the milkweed.
    I kept waiting for its importance in the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly.
    One of the two main reasons in the diminishing populations of Monarchs in the world is the treatment of the Milkweed as a weed and corporate farms elimination of the natural populations of Milkweeds. The other reason of course is the use of pesticides which kill off the caterpillars that do find a milkweed or possibly some other plant to support their intricate life cycle. Milkweeds and Monarchs go together like ham and eggs or biscuits and gravy.

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