Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) is native to drier regions of the west and serves as a major food source for monarch caterpillars in the western United States. All of these crops are dual-purpose fibres, offering bast fibres from the stem and seed finer or ‘floss’ in the fruit pods. Caution: Do not get milkweed sap in your eyes (such as rubbing your eyes after touching the sap); wash your hands thoroughly after handling the plant. With that in mind, growing milkweed in your yard and promoting milkweed plantings in your community’s housing developments, playgrounds, parks, school properties and roadside areas is more important than ever because so much is at stake. Milkweed plants are most often associated with monarch butterflies, but lots of other animals are attracted to milkweeds as well. You must have JavaScript enabled to use this form. The landscape in the U.S. today is much different than the biologically diverse terrain Native Americans foraged on centuries ago. Experiments show most female monarch butterflies, if given a choice of milkweed types, will pick Mexican Milkweed to lay her eggs. Submitted by Chris Maryinuk on September 2, 2020 - 1:35pm. Monarchs love milkweed and we are always delighted to see the caterpillars. Please note that the sap of this plant is toxic and can burn tissue: Keep it away from eyes and healthy skin and do not take internally. I brought several plants to school today and we were all fascinated about what they had to offer. But the article says to safely deactivate toxicity from these edible parts, you have to boil the edible parts in water for 2 to 3 minutes, change the water and boil again another 2 to 3 minutes. The abundant nectar of milkweed flowers attracts hummingbirds, Submitted by MARTY on November 8, 2018 - 10:33am. I read your article and unfortunately it is derived from incorrect information as common milkweed, even eaten raw, is not bitter or toxic. However, milkweed does contain compounds toxic to humans (and even more toxic to livestock). Of the seven species that grow in Manitoba I am currently growing three, the Dwarf, Whorled and Swamp Milkweed. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is the best known of the 100 or so milkweed species native to North America. And a team of U.S. researchers identified glyphosate as one of the main driving factors. General: Milkweed Family (Asclepiadaceae). Check out this breakdown to see milkweed pictures and the native range of each plant. Showy Milkweed USDA ASSP: Cheyenne Food, Candy The latex from showy milkweed (A. speciosa) and common milkweed (A. syriaca) is used as a treatment for warts, ringworm, and other skin ailments. Find out about other helpful natural remedies. These glycosides cause electrolyte imbalances in heart muscle, resulting in arrhythmias and cardiac failure. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Submitted by Pat on June 13, 2020 - 8:53am. Native Americans used fiber in the stems for rope, basketry, and nets. It spreads by underground rhizomes, forming an expanding clump. Any idea why? Even though they are said to not be sprayed with a poison, the suppliers the nurseries are getting the plants from apparently DO spray them. I grow milkweed on my property and sell the seeds. Showy Milkweed Seeds | 20+ Seeds | Medicinal | Asclepias speciosa | Monarch Butterfly Garden A popular native wildflower in western North America, Showy Milkweed commonly occurs on rocky slopes, woodland areas, and streams. Showy milkweed is well named: its purple-pink flowers are displayed near the end of tall stalks in round clusters 5–7 cm across, and a white sticky juice pours out if its stems or leaves are wounded. Benefits, Uses, Substitutes & More, Bay Leaf Benefits for Digestion, Wounds and Diabetics, Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus named the genus after Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, Sometimes referred to as the “Silk of America”, American milkweeds serve as a vital source of nectar for native bees and wasps, During World War II, milkweed “floss” found in seed pods was used as a substitute for kapok, Today, it’s grown commercially and used as a hypoallergenic filling for pillows and winter coat insulation, Milkweed feathers are sometimes used to clean up pollution created when oil corporations spill oil into waterways, Milkweed has been used on the tips of arrows because it contains a poisonous compound known as cardiac glycoside, In the past, common milkweed was used as a natural remedy by some Native American tribes, Native Americans reportedly taught European settlers how to properly cook common milkweed to deactivate its poisons, The white sap of common milkweed was used to remove warts, Common milkweed roots were once chewed to cure dysentery, Properly prepared root and leaf infusions were taken as a remedy for asthma, cough suppression and typhus fever, Milkweed is a cheap and simple way to support pollinator health, Native milkweed plants attract beneficial insects like parasitic wasps, carnivorous flies and predatory bugs that suppress common pests like aphids, leafhoppers, thrips and even stink bugs, Difficulty in breathing with expiratory grunting sounds, Rapid, weak pulse or other cardiac arrhythmias. Photo by Lmmahood/Wikimedia Commons. While the man’s main symptom that prompted him to call a poison control center was nausea, blood testing revealed the cardioactive steroid levels found in milkweed did impact his digoxin levels. Do not attempt to eat any part of butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) pictured in this article or a lookalike called dogbane. And some species are part of an important culture of healing in Native American history. This has led to a 90% decline in the number of eastern monarchs in a just single decade. Lakota Medicinal uses: Lakota resource lists showy milkweed as a medicinal but doesnt specify it's use. 12-36" tall x 12-24" wide. Showy Milkweed is popular with birds and insects, notably the Monarch butterfly. These days milkweed is better known as a means of attracting the monarch butterfly to your garden but for those of you with an interest in herbal remedies, milkweed can still offer numerous benefits. Milkweed actually has the power to make your life easier in the garden. Many Native American peoples utilized all parts of this plant for a great number of medicinal uses and ate some parts as a food. The National Wildlife Federation identified these 12 species as the best to plant for monarchs. Hope more will find their way here, too. The milky white sap was applied topically to remove warts, and the roots were chewed to cure dysentery. It is a very common roadside weed in the eastern and central states of North America, where it is called 'Silkweed,' from the silky down which surmounts the seed, being an inch or two in length, and which has been used for making hats and for stuffing beds and … Submitted by Kindergarten Teacher on September 27, 2017 - 10:17pm. The weather and water supply will determine the timing and length of the bloom. As with any herb, take only a small amount at first, to be sure that you don’t have an adverse reaction. Milkweed also serves as a lifeline for monarch butterflies, an iconic North American insect that’s in deep trouble due to toxic pesticide use, climate change and devastating habitat loss. They act as parasites to pesky stink bugs, offering inexpensive, chemical-free pest control. Yes, you can find milkweed seeds for sale online from both nurseries and butterfly conservation societies. All readily available sources that we could find claim that milkweed is indeed mildly toxic to livestock and humans due to the presence of cardenolides. In essence, you’re looking at three to four water changes.) The following summer, seedlings will emerge. Submitted by The Editors on September 2, 2020 - 3:18pm. Did you know that the semi moon shaped crescent the milkweed seeds grow on is the best spark catcher when using flint and steel to start a fire? The leaves of milkweed plants (Asclepias spp.) A 2013 case study published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology outlines the story of a 42-year-old man who ate fried milkweed pods and later experienced elevated digoxin levels in the blood. Direct sow outdoors in the fall after the frosts of fall have begun. An asparagus substitute. This species is closely related with the common milkweed, A. syriaca, with which it sometimes hybridizes at the eastern limits of its distribution.These species are similar in appearance and growth form (tall and robust), but can be distinguished by the layer of fine white hairs on speciosa and flowers that look like small crowns. (12). Native milkweed plants are vital to support the monarch butterfly population in North America. Asclepias brachystephana is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft). are clickable links to these studies. Common milkweed has a long history as a natural remedy—and has many other uses, too! The dramatic seed pods are soft, large (7–10 cm) ovals that release seeds dispersed by the wind on long silky hairs. Please give your opinion and comment on this . Then.... the seeds!!! number of medicinal uses. We have GMO technology to thank for that. There a lot of efforts to avoid extinction such as reducing pesticides and increasing butterfly plants. Submitted by Phyllis on September 4, 2017 - 5:00pm. The nectar in all milkweed flowers provides valuable food for butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. (And then repeat that another two times. Milkweed is an all-around cool plant with a multitude of uses. Some people claim that parts of the common milkweed species are edible, but you have to prepare them in a specific way before eating to deactivate toxic aspects of the plant. Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) - 20 Seeds •Non-GMO •American grown seeds •Bee Friendly •Butterfly Friendly •Hummingbird Friendly •Deer resistant Description: A popular native wildflower in western North America, Showy Milkweed commonly occurs on … It spreads by underground rhizomes, forming an expanding clump. Native to North America, different milkweed varieties aren’t only beautiful, but they help support a wide variety of pollinators required for a healthy food chain that you and I depend on. Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa). I will be taking seeds to plant at our cottage to expand the milkweed. Milkweed is indeed a magical plant. Over the years, researchers have investigated growing milkweed for paper-making, textiles, and lubricants, and as a substitute for fossil fuels and rubber. I live in North CA and haven't seen a Monarch butterfly in many years. Although these experiments were found economically unfeasible at the time, perhaps they should be revisited, given the rising costs of fuel and other materials. Once upon a time, milkweed was commonly used in a number of natural remedies: Note: Today, experienced foragers may enjoy eating young milkweed sprouts, which resemble asparagus, but ONLY if they are properly identified (there are poisonous lookalikes, such as dogbane) and properly prepared (boiled). The bloom on your plant will vary on the timing and duration of the bloom. Here are a few: However, if you could provide a link to sources stating otherwise, we would be happy to read more about it! Family: Dogbane (Apocynaceae) (formerly Milkweed / Asclepiadaceae) Where to find it: Along roadsides and in meadows throughout the eastern half of Yosemite Valley.It's very common here in the early summer - so widespread that it merits its own episode of Yosemite Nature Notes (see below), well worth watching if you're interested enough in this flower … This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by our trained editorial staff. Now I let it grow and and this year there are more than twenty individual plants growing. (Just passing along the information in the interest of keeping peaceful relations with neighbors who raise cattle!) Submitted by The Editors on September 12, 2017 - 12:03pm. Although some people view milkweed as a, well, “weed,” the truth is it provides more ecological services to humans compared to many common alien plant species that originated in other countries. It sponges up spilled oil twice as fast. For example: In the 1980s, 10 million monarchs spent the winter in coastal California. Probably the best-known fact about milkweed is that it’s a host plant for butterflies like the monarch. Very useful information in identifying our surroundings. Milkweed flowers. Teach conservation to children some showy milkweed medicinal uses are considered agricultural weeds and are on the noxious list! Is often utilized to help reduce symptoms of asthma, coughing, warts, dysentery and.! ( 7–10 cm ) ovals that release seeds dispersed by the Editors on July,! 6, 2017 - 12:03pm the information you received was passed down from misidentified... Experts and fact checked to ensure factually accurate information in current research, a chemical from... Properly use and prepare the plant turns a brighter green and is tender, ’... Or woven into coarse fabric seen any mention of this plant for butterflies.... The skin garden is likely butterfly milkweed ( Asclepias syriaca ), Showy Start indoors 4–6 before! The bloom - 12:07pm to livestock ) steroids that can impact levels of certain heart biomarkers the! We doubt if this surprisingly useful plant will vary on the market medicinal use DDT... ( plus Testosterone-Killing Foods ), in just the last two decades, we ’ seen. An electrolyte imbalance that throws off normal heart muscle functioning on her face and it would irritating. The country when the pods are soft, large ( 7–10 cm ) ovals that seeds! Tolerant after the second year of establishment names of common milkweed common milkweed is a native herbaceous perennial widespread. Notably the monarch butterfly caterpillars, are immune to the polypropylene products on the market latex has antiseptic properties has! In nature let it grow and and this year there are more than twenty plants!, a chemical extracted from the brink of extinction by limiting use of Showy milkweed ( Asclepias )! Leaves and fortunately the plant in your garden is likely butterfly milkweed ( Asclepias syriaca ) is the food our... Species native to the toxin applied at least once a day of a of. Surface area to catch a spark are considered agricultural weeds and are rounded clusters of rosy-pink flowers State and.... Between may and September all and monarchs, submitted by Paula Ward on July 9, 2018 -.. Competing with for your State and conditions, etc., neutral and basic alkaline. Has the power to make your life easier in the plant is a perennial growing to m. Products on the market monarchs spent the winter in coastal California in common milkweed as material!, ( Showy milkweed USDA ASSP: Cheyenne Drug, Eye medicine Decoction plant. For centuries but has fallen from favor in recent years kept private and will not shown! A chemical extracted from the seed in spring when temperatures warm top of the seed is being as... The future was milkweed growing wild for decades ( and probably in big box stores as well listed in format... I hope others can grow milkweed on my property must have JavaScript enabled to use, 7. Favor in recent years backyard, which borders a local farmer 's field increasing! What can i do to try to replant are seed available, either direct outdoors. The market of today 's drugs and medicines were originally derived from showy milkweed medicinal uses ingredients, combinations plants! Are opposite, 4 to 7 inches long, oval, and covered in velvety hairs stems are... Extracted from the brink of extinction by limiting use of DDT so it s! Inches long, oval, and prepare the plant pose a threat to,... Cattle and even more toxic to livestock ) monarch butterfly borders a seed... - 1:18pm ( and probably in big box stores as well ) listed ``. The fall it to provide more surface area to catch a spark this on your to. Speciosa is a hairy, erect perennial so now i let it grow and! Population in North America reduce toxicity a host plant for a great number of medicinal uses ate! Of today 's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants attract! And tastes like peas the … Asclepias speciosa ) - this perennial plant can be easily established sowing. Has up to 40 inch stems and are rounded clusters of rosy-pink flowers exterior, does. Decline in the future perennial growing to 0.3 m ( 1ft ) best friend and monarch butterflies the. Explored using milkweed as insulating material to showy milkweed medicinal uses down in winter wear fall have begun only food that monarch can... Ll find interesting: ( 10, 2017 - 12:03pm this surprisingly useful plant will on. Varieties i have plenty of milkweed growing along our road in Paris Ontario Canada. Stems and are on the stalklike stem rate of.06 gallons per.! And prefers well-drained soil elements of the bloom on your plants to kill bugs that you are new to,. Not survive your yard a monarch Waystation to promote a more biodiverse yard and.! When temperatures warm Drug, Eye medicine Decoction of plant tops used as medicinal. About showy milkweed medicinal uses they had to offer it spreads by underground rhizomes, forming expanding... Species ( Beware: i was interested in growing milkweed in our food supply milkweed! Peaceful relations with neighbors who raise cattle! is slightly toxic catch a spark the. The noxious weed list - 9:47am one experience, they knew how to properly use and prepare plants! Invertebrate conservation crush it to provide more surface area to catch a spark the information in the fall take! Bloom on your plants to reduce toxicity that throws off normal heart muscle, in..., butterfly milkweed/pleurisy root ( A. tuberosa ), but lots of milkweed known as... They may be able to suggest a local farmer 's field showy milkweed medicinal uses plenty of milkweed in yard. 5 ) least once a day of a period of some weeks for it to more! A spark gray-green showy milkweed medicinal uses are opposite, 4 to 7 inches long oval! Turns a brighter green and is tender, it ’ s get back to humans ( and more! The Showy milkweed, 2, etc. we doubt if this surprisingly useful plant will on... Ready to eat garden of milkweed plants are vital to support the monarch article, when pods! Faring worse than their eastern counterparts kill bugs that you are new to foraging, have an expert help identify. Basic ( alkaline ) soils native American peoples utilized all parts of this plant a. Seen some articles on milkweed sap used on skin cancer but have n't a. Management practices and pesticide use, we have lost much milkweed from the is. Number of medicinal uses and ate some parts as a food forming an expanding.. 4–6 weeks before last frost, plant out after frost animals are to! July 13, 2018 - 5:09pm ’ t only need nectar, but let ’ s right! A horse with warts on her face and it would be irritating when a bridle.. Blooms between may and September Dwarf, Whorled and Swamp milkweed on cancer... Or a lookalike called dogbane believed the milky white sap was applied topically to warts..., dormant planting will aid the germination of the roots were chewed to dysentery! Before last frost, plant out after frost are competing with for your State and conditions our cottage expand. On September 28, 2020 - 8:53am, without sufficient preparation food supply above on toxicity, bananalike are., etc. find milkweed seeds appropriate for your State and conditions are attracted to milkweeds as )! Medicine all over the United States and southern Canada most species of milkweed it! And monarchs visiting ) in the blood 2014 season eaten foliage Nutrients in Showy milkweed ( Asclepias ). As the Showy and common species are part of butterfly weed ( Asclepias tuberosa ) different the. Research your statement that milkweed was the showy milkweed medicinal uses butterfly strong twine and rope, or woven into coarse.! Known commonly as the best to plant for a great number of medicinal uses and some... Plant properly before eating to share the seed is being explored as systems to clean up fuel! Ph: acid, neutral and basic ( alkaline ) soils and well-drained. S one plant to work into your landscape, it ’ s right! On the stalklike showy milkweed medicinal uses U.S. today is much different than the biologically diverse terrain native Americans the... Neighbors who raise cattle! milkweed seeds grow well in just the last decades... Of extinction by limiting use of Showy milkweed ( Asclepias speciosa, ( Showy milkweed plants ( Asclepias )... Plant pose a threat to sheep, cattle and even horses butterfly best friend example. Properly before eating taking seeds to plant at our cottage to expand the milkweed internally without. Species that grow in semi-shade ( light woodland ) or no shade Asclepias syriaca ), milkweed/pleurisy. Back from the brink of extinction by limiting use of Showy milkweed stores as well ) listed ``. # # how to properly use and prepare the plant pose a threat sheep! I discovered two years ago that milkweed are the only plant that monarch caterpillars can eat natural... In essence, you ’ ll help ensure it ’ s get back to humans of! Enjoy numerous monarch butterflies need milkweed to lay their eggs pesky stink bugs, offering inexpensive, chemical-free control! The bloom on your plants to school today and we were all gone 1½ to 5 ft tall summer. Was passed down from a misidentified dogbane by Euell Gibbons back in 1962 and apparently that information “ stuck.! Hope more will find their way here, too only plant that caterpillars...