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Common MILKWEED Seeds - Asclepias syriaca - Virginia Silkweed - BUTTERFLY FLOWER SEED - Zones 3 - 9

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Price:
$1.50
Weight:
0.10 LBS
Shipping:
Calculated at checkout
Quantity:


Product Description

Choose from:

Pkt. Size     –       40         Seeds      

1/8 oz     –         625+        Seeds   

1/4 oz     –       1,250+       Seeds      

1/2 oz            2,500+       Seeds      

1 oz               5,000+       Seeds     

 

Asclepias syriaca - Common Milkweed, Butterfly flower, Silkweed, Silky Swallow-wort, Virginia Silkweed Wildflower Seeds

A familiar and friendly wildflower, Common Milkweed spreads aggressively, and will delight the nectar-loving Monarch Butterflies with its soft pink blooms. A good choice for your large butterfly garden or wildflower meadow!


Origin: US Native
Other Common Names:
Duration: Perennial
Bloom Time: Summer
Height: 36” to 48”
Spacing: 18” to 24”
Light: Full Sun to Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Medium to Dry
USDA Zone: 3a-9b
Germination: No pre-treatment needed. Sow seeds on soil surface at 70F and water. Slow to germinate.

The flowers are grouped in several spherical umbels with numerous flowers in each umbel. The individual flowers are small, 1-2 cm diameter, perfumed, with five cornate hoods. The seeds are attached to long, white flossy hairs and encased in large follicles.


The plant's latex contains large quantities of glycosides, making the leaves and seed pods toxic for sheep and other large mammals, and potentially humans (though large quantities of the foul-tasting parts would need to be eaten). The young shoots, young leaves, flower buds and immature fruits are all edible raw.
Concerns about milkweed bitterness and toxicity can be traced back to Euell Gibbons, author of Stalking the Wild Asparagus (1962). It is theorized that Gibbons inadvertently prepared dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum), a poisonous look-alike instead. He devised a method to remove the bitterness and toxicity by plunging the young shoots into boiling water (not cold) and cooking for one minute, repeating the procedure at least three times to make the plant safe to eat. Gibbons' method was copied from book to book, dominating edible plants literature for forty years. Most modern foragers consider the bitterness/toxicity issue a myth. The plants have no bitterness when tasted raw, and can be cooked like asparagus, with no special processing.

Failed attempts have been made to exploit rubber (from the latex) and fiber (from the seed's floss) production from the plant industrially. The fluffy seed hairs have been used as the traditional background for mounted butterflies. The compressed floss has a beautiful silk-like sheen. The plant has also been explored for commercial use of its bast (inner bark) fiber which is both strong and soft. U. S. Department of Agriculture studies in the 1890s and 1940s found that Milkweed has more potential for commercial processing than any other indigenous bast fiber plant, with estimated yields as high as hemp and quality as good as flax. Both the bast fiber and the floss were used historically by Native Americans for cordage and textiles. Milkweed oil from the seeds can be easily converted into cinnamic acid, which is a very potent sunscreen when used at a 1-5% concentration.

 

 

 


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