Key Characteristics of Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca:
What does milkweed look like when it's growing?
How poisonous are milkweed?
All parts of the plant contain toxic cardiac glycosides, which can cause nausea, diarrhea, weakness, and confusion in small amounts, and seizures, heart rhythm changes, respiratory paralysis, and even death in large amounts. Milkweed can also irritate the skin and eyes if touched.
What does milkweed look like blooming?
Flowers: Individual flowers are small (0.4 to 0.7 inches), consisting of five petals pink to purple in color. Flowers occur in round clusters (inflorescence) about two inches in diameter, and bloom from June through August. Fruit: Milkweeds produce large seedpods (3 to 5 inches long) after flowering.
How can you tell the difference between milkweed and dogbane?
Differences: Common milkweed has a hairy stem, unlike dogbane. When mature, the dogbane stem branches in the upper portion of the plant. The flowers also look quite different. Common milkweed flowers are pinkish, large and ball shaped, whereas dogbane flowers are whitish green and in small clusters.
Do birds eat monarch caterpillars?
Birds such as black-backed orioles and black-headed grosbeaks are common predators at monarch overwintering sites. These species can eat large quantities of monarchs without getting poisoned.
What does Monarch milkweed look like?
The flowers of this species are a soft white with just a hint of pink at their centers. Small clusters of flowers top nearly every stem, and despite the delicate appearance of this milkweed species, it can feed a lot of monarch caterpillars. You can buy seed of whorled milkweed here.
Which milkweed do monarchs prefer?
Female monarchs will lay eggs on all nine milkweed species, but they prefer some over others. Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) and common milkweed (A. syriaca) averaged the highest number of eggs.
What kind of milkweed do monarch butterflies like?
Three species have particularly wide ranges and are good choices in most regions: common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), swamp milkweed (A. incarnata), and butterflyweed (A. tuberosa).
What happens if you touch dogbane?
If you break a spreading dogbane stem or leaf, you will see that the plant contains a bitter, sticky, milky white sap. The sap contains cardiac glycosides that are toxic to humans. The root also contains a potent cardiac stimulant, cymarin.
What does dogbane plant look like?
Does dogbane have pods like milkweed?
Before it flowers, Apocynum cannabinum is reminiscent of milkweeds in its stature and foliage, and in the fact that it contains a milky latex. But as the clusters of small, white flowers appear and, later, as the drooping bean-like seed pods develop, dogbane makes itself fairly easily recognized.
Is it good to have milkweed in your garden?
Milkweed Saves Butterflies in Urban Areas
Butterflies need good places throughout urban areas so that they can feed and lay their eggs. Many butterflies die each year because they become trapped in cities, where few nectar or host plants bloom. Every small planting of milkweed can be a haven for butterflies.
What lays black eggs on milkweed?
Monarchs lay their eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves--generally--but we've seen them on stems and on the leaf edges. They usually deposit a single egg beneath the leaf, but we've spotted as many as four on one leaf. They secrete a glue so the egg will adhere.
Is milk thistle the same as milkweed?
They are, in fact, two very different plants. Milkweed is a brightly flowering plant that attracts a plethora of fauna, whereas milk thistle is an invasive weed that can take over poorly tended fields and roadsides and has become a nuisance in the western regions of North America.
What does common milkweed attract?
Common milkweed is Nature's mega food market for insects. Over 450 insects are known to feed on some portion of the plant. Numerous insects are attracted to the nectar-laden flowers and it is not at all uncommon to see flies, beetles, ants, bees, wasps, and butterflies on the flowers at the same time.
Do wasps eat monarch chrysalis?
Paper wasps, Polistes, sometimes attack monarch caterpillars or pupae to feed their young. Recent reports suggest that this form of predation is more common than originally thought. (View of several paper wasps collecting food from a monarch chrysalis).
Is butterfly bush a milkweed?
They are not the same. Butterfly bush is a large shrub that is a great nectar plant whereas Butterfly Milkweed is a short milkweed that can be used as a host plant by Monarchs as well as being a nectar plant. Asclepias tuberosa is a native milkweed to most of the US with the exception being the Northwest.
How many types of milkweed plants are there?
There are 73 species of native milkweeds in the United States. Many of these species are rare, threatened, and endangered. Monarchs utilize about 30 of these species as host plants with some regularity.
What does butterfly milkweed look like?
Butterfly Milkweed- Asclepias tuberosa
Flowers: bright orange-yellow, arranged in umbels. Leaves: alternate on the stem (not opposite each other), lance-shaped, 5 to 10 cm long, smooth on top and downy beneath. Habitat: limestone soils, open, rocky, dry sites.
Do Monarch caterpillars eat the whole milkweed plant?
Commercial butterfly breeders tell me that each Monarch caterpillar can easily defoliate an entire one-gallon milkweed plant–consuming 175 – 200 leaves per caterpillar–before eclosing to the chrysalis stage.
What butterflies lay eggs on milkweed?
That's because, each spring in North America, as monarch butterflies venture north from their wintering grounds, they lay their eggs exclusively on milkweeds, which are the only plants that their caterpillars can eat.