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Milkweed

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Showy Milkweed with seed pods
Greasy Creek
August 5, 2010

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Showy Milkweed with seed pods
Greasy Creek
August 5, 2010

I went back to Greasy today to see how the cows are getting along, some due to calve in 30 days. They looked great, but in that process I became intrigued with these Milkweed seed pods. The genus Aclepias, named for Aclepius, the Greek god of healing, comes from the many folk-medicinal uses of the plant’s milky substance, reportedly employed to clot small wounds and remove warts. Be careful, however, some species are toxic. Containing cardiac glycoside poisons, natives in the Southern Hemisphere used part of the plant on their spears and arrows.

I will try to photograph an open seed pod later on to show their fine seed filaments that have been utilized as insulation to replace goose down and kapok, and grown commercially as a hypoallergenic filling for pillows. The nectar was used by natives as a sweetener. The plant is also the sole source of food for the monarch butterfly larvae.


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Narrow-Leaf Milkweed with Tarantula Hawk
Greasy Creek
August 5, 2010

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