Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Milkweed Curiosity

I have already been reading about milkweed years ago. This is of course famous because of the equally famous monarch butterflies, which travel from Mexico to the Northern USA to reproduce and other whatever reasons, then return to their origin. Most of them have a few generations before they can come back to their source. And milkweed is associated with them because that is their host plant. Then there came another famous herbicide that kills all weeds, including milkweed. So the biodiversity people make noise on the possible demise of the monarchs, if milkweed population will quickly decrease.

I have actually posted an earlier version of this  HERE.

We don't have milkweed here in our hot lowlands, only in the colder highlands in the Cordilleras. So when i saw this Asclepias curassavica in Baguio City, i quickly got some mature seeds in the pods. I intend to try acclimatizing it in our hot climate. I know we have a different species of monarch too, so i hope they will eventually see my plant in my garden. It is easy to adapt in my garden, although the growth is not as vigorous as in the highlands. But i am glad taking its dramatic, colorful flowers, with those dancing-lady-like blooms. I got seeds even if it is our dry season. However, the local monarchs are still far from materializing in my garden. I have also given a few seeds to a few friends. Eventually, it will live true to itself, invasive. I try getting all the seeds so they will not be scattering around.

The pods are much bigger and fatter than those of the hoyas. The technical term for this is actually "follicle", because pods are fruits of the legumes. 

The seeds are arranged in such fashion just like the hoya seeds inside the follicle.

....and those special hairs, called coma,  will facilitate them to be scattered by wind to long destinations 

one single milkweed seed with lots of hairs called coma


  1. wow, this is really a beautiful one. I hope you will succeed in your plans :)

  2. That is fascinating! I have a friend who raises monarch butterflies who are avid eaters of this weed

  3. interesting to see how you get on growing this in your hot garden. Love the macro shots of the seeds. The coma seems a bit like dandelion seeds?

  4. Well done for growing Milkweed. I hope that you are successful in attracting butterflies, but in the mean time you will have some lovely flowers to enjoy. I think it is really important that we all try to do as much as we can to help wildlife. I have great plans to provide as much as I can for butterflies at our new property when we move there.


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