Flower Friday: Common Milkweed

I discovered Flower Friday last year while visiting Lorilin@Bugbugbooks and have been having a blast sharing some flower pictures and information. Please check out Lorilin’s blog if you haven’t already for book reviews and more!


Today’s Flower is:

Common Milkweed

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I just adore these large spherical pink/purplish flowers. They have a wonderful smell too, so if you happen to stumble upon one of these beauties, don’t forget to take a whiff. 

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I used to pull these out of our landscaping and fence lines, until I learned how important they are for butterflies and bees. Common milkweed contains glycosides and this plant  is the sole source of food for monarch butterfly larva. When they eat this plant, it makes the larvae and adult butterflies toxic to birds and other predators.

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Milkweed seems to be proliferating everywhere this year, especially in a pasture we just freshly tilled this spring. According to http://www.wildflower.org, common milkweed’s persistence is dependent on disturbance. Here’s the pasture we tilled which consists of a fairly nutrient deficient soil. Normally, they prefer moist soil, but this soil gets beat down by the sun daily and it’s growing just fine here.

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Milkweed can get up to 8 feet tall in ditches and gardens. Here’s a picture of one growing along our fence, amongst a few lilies and sedums. It’s roughly 6 feet tall at this point.

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Here’s one just starting to bloom…

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Milkweed needs a lot of sun and doesn’t require much care at all. You can often see it growing on the sides of the road and in ditches. Common milkweed produce seeds and also propagate from rhizomes. You can buy seeds online and grow some of your own to enjoy every year.

  • Scientific Name: Asclepias syriaca
  • Other names: butterfly flower, silky swallow-wort, silkweed, and Virginia silkweed
  • Native to the USA and Canada
  • Perennial
  • Fun fact: poisonous and not recommended for eating

Here is a picture of the butterfly weed I talked about earlier this year. It’s growing like crazy! This is a milkweed member. It’s much more compact and a beautiful orange.

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I hope you enjoyed today’s Flower Friday. Do you have common milkweed growing where you live? I’d love to hear about some of the flowers you’re enjoying this year. Please feel free to leave comments below if you’d like to chat. 

❤ Mischenko

 

43 thoughts on “Flower Friday: Common Milkweed

  1. We have SO MUCH milkweed in the garden at my kid’s school. It’s pretty, but man it spreads like crazy! It’s to the point for us that it’s almost invasive, and I pull it when it migrates outside of its “zone.” 😅

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    1. That’s amazing! How sweet that the kids are learning at a young age how important it is too. I can see how it’s invasive too! Thanks for sharing, Lorilin. Hope you have a great weekend! ❤

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  2. Within the county I live in, there is a National Park called Point Pelee. It is on the migratory route for the Monarch Butterfly. Over the years so much of the milkweed was sprayed and killed that the Monarchs in the area almost disappeared. They are making a comeback and many people are actually growing milkweed in their yards to help the Monarchs. I love the orange one.

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    1. Oh wow, I bet that park is beautiful. I’m envious of your location! 😍 It’s really sad what’s happened to the population. I remember finding a chart and sharing it on the post I did on the butterfly weed and I thought it was getting better, but the numbers are still so low. I hope it gets better every year. Thanks for sharing, Carla! 💜💗💜

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  3. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen milkweed before, favorite M! I’m going to ask my mom if she’s seen it. The flowers are beautiful! And I need to look at your other post about the butterfly weed! That is gorgeous too. The orange! We have tried growing butterfly bushes here but I have planted them in a bad spot, and they didn’t make it. We have so many large oaks in the backyard it can make some flower growing tricky due to the roots taking all the water and also shading. The ones I planted at my mom’s house are growing strong and loving the full sun. Thanks so much for this share. I love learning something new! ♥️ xo

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        1. Aww! It’s so ironic that you say that because I’ve tried to get pics this year and it’s nearly impossible! I just love the blue ones too. They are so beautiful and amazing. Always in awe! 😘 You’ll have to send me one if you get it! 🦋🌹❤

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    1. Aww, thank you so much, Jenn! I’m so glad you like this one. I have to say that the orange butterfly weed is so easy to grow! We’ve had butterfly bushes not do so well either, but the weeds are easy. You’ll have to let me know! 💜💜💜

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  4. I’m sure we do – I live in an area that was once very rural and is now semi-rural with a lot of developments in and around farmland. I’m going to look during my drive to work today! Glad to see how important milkweed is to butterflies. That orange plant is such a nice color too! I don’t think we all realize how connected all these plants and animals are to our existence, do you? Thanks for the mini lesson!

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    1. I hope you find some! I think I may just be noticing it more this year, but it seems to be everywhere. These plants are so very important and awesome for us to enjoy too. Thanks so much for checking out the post. I’m glad you enjoyed it. ❤

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  5. starjustin

    Wow, it’s amazing how it’s called milk weed. Is it actually a weed plant? The Orange ones are beautiful too. I think God blessed this world with everything that’s needed in nature for one reason or another. Nice post!

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    1. I actually think it’s considered an herb, but don’t quote me on that. I’d have to look it up. Our world is certainly blessed and how amazing what this plant does for butterflies!

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