…that is unless you pictured yourself as a small pollinator. Don’t cut milkweed until the end of September at the earliest. Monarch butterflies do not place all of their eggs in one basket: oviposition on nine Midwestern milkweed species. The milkweed being discussed was the tropical variety most widely available in the usual stores, Asclepias curassavica, known commonly as Scarlet or Tropical milkweed. See the photo at right. Of those 15 species, A. tuberosa and A. incarnata tend to be the most commonly grown in the ornamental garden. As for me, I think I’ll pass on the eating part! They were, however, more successful pollinators when they visited other milkweed species. I can enjoy them just the way they are! There are over a hundred different milkweed varieties in the United States. However, if you chose to be a honey bee (Apis mellifera), a brown-belted bumble bee (Bombus griseocollis), or a digger wasp (Sphex ichneumoneus, S. pensylvanicus), then congratulations! ( Log Out /  Drooping umbels arise from the upper leaf axils, Leaves are simple, broadly elliptic, with smooth edges, Poke Milkweed: 5 petals that bend backwards around a central crown of 5 incurved “hoods”; each has a horn that is longer than the hood. The flowers may be shaded purplish or green. Milkweed flower. But native milkweed plants–Asclepias incarnata, A. tuberosa, and A. syriaca are still a hub of insect activity in the… The length and timing of flowering also differs somewhat. Monarchs migrate from the northeast through Northern Virginia in September and October on their way back to Mexico. The milk can be toxic if ingested, although some people say that milkweed can be eaten if the plants are young and the cook who prepares them uses special precautions. Below is a partial list of monarch-friendly plants native to Virginia thrive and, once established, are drought and deer resistant. It may self-seed here. I hope that you enjoyed this guide on Asclepias. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. A. syriaca is said to be the most fragrant milkweed and produces nectar both day and night, which is extremely attractive to pollinators. Growing the plants will attract and feed these beautiful butterflies. . Monarch egg counts were higher when more than one species was present. At least 8 species of milkweed in this genus are native to Fairfax County. When the flowers of summer wane, pollinators move on to late bloomers, such as the mistakenly maligned native thistles. At the time I suspected the weird things were fungal growths. In those studies, the prize for worst pollinator, but best nectar robber goes to the 865 American bumble bees (B. pensylvanicus) that visited Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) and extracted only four pollinia among them. Editors: Steven Bell, Margaret Brown, Brigitte Coulton, Kimberly Marsho, Marsha Mercer,  & Christa Watters “Poke” is a paper bag or sack, for example, but “poke weed” was listed as one of many wild flowers. If you manage to escape without losing a claw or worse (OUCH! Pink blossoms provide nectar from July through August. in Virginia Kevin W. Bradley, Postdoctoral Research Associate Paul Davis, Extension Agent Edward S. Hagood, Jr., Extension Weed Scientist; Virginia Tech Table 1. ( Log Out /  Orange blossoms pro… Asclepias syriaca, commonly called common milkweed, butterfly flower, silkweed, silky swallow-wort, and Virginia silkweed, is a species of flowering plant. Thousands Of Monarch Butterflies Are Headed Straight For Virginia This Spring. Studies showed that they were the most effective pollinators of various milkweed plants, although honey bees likely left more parts behind. After some additional research (i.e., I found a photo of a bee with similar things on its legs while surfing the Internet), it seems that those structures are milkweed pollinia and not parasitic growths. Note the 5 petals that are bent backwards and the 5 white hoods, each bearing a single white, curved “horn” that is longer than the hood. As such, milkweed is critical for the survival of monarchs. In addition, milkweed is famous for the community of other insects (especially beetles and spiders) that exclusively make the milkweed plant their home. Better get busy because you have plenty of pollinia to deliver…. Britt.) They become poisonous themselves if eaten by predators. They require different habitats–swamp milkweed tolerates wetter soil, clay, and some shade while butterfly-weed tolerates dry/poor soil and drought but prefers full sun. Just enter your email address below and click "sign me up" to get notified of new updates to our site via email. Pictured here is a white species called poke milkweed or tall milkweed. By Theresa Dellinger. We support local growers and hope you seek out native varieties. Whether you call it Asclepias or milkweed, the genus consists of more than 100 species of evergreen or deciduous, clump-forming or spreading perennials. Virginia Native Milkweed Species. Milkweed is very easy to look after, pinch back the heads when about 12 cm high, this will tell auxin hormones to make more heads (instead of having a single flower). In that case you might still be trapped inside the flower and will probably perish. Let me know please at pineoakes@gmail.com. It is most easily distinguished from other species by the vibrant magenta color of its flowers, but also by the strong downward point to its horns. May I reblog your post as a guest blog on my site? Monarchs migrate from the northeast through Northern Virginia in September and October on their … It prefers full sun and can be grown in a wide range of soil conditions. Description. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. South and West Texas are home to numerous milkweed species but their use by monarchs is not well documented. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Free Milkweed plant with every plant order placed this month!!! Promoting environmentally sound gardening practices for over 35 years! The MGNV website is maintained and created by the MGNV Social Media Committee with input from MGNV and VCE. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. 1. Virginia grows several milkweed species commonly found in fields and meadows growing wild. Northeast Region Asclepias tuberosa, butterfly weed - Leaves are food during the egg and larvae stages. Unlike many other flowers that have two whorls, milkweeds have three whorled flowers. In addition to writers & photographers credited through bylines (Mary Free, Judy Funderburk, Elaine Mills, Christa Watters & Susan Wilhelm), But you may be asking, “should I prune milkweed.” Milkweed pruning isn’t really necessary, but deadheading milkweed can enhance appearance and encourage further flowering. Share your knowledge, plants and seeds. Below is a list of different types of milkweed and their native regions. Female monarchs deposit their eggs on milkweed during the breeding season (late spring through summer in Northern Virginia) and their caterpillars devour the leaves as they grow. Click here for more info. Monarch butterfly feeding on a milkweed plant at Big Meadow in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA. Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa Clasping milkweed, Asclepias amplexicaulis Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca Fourleaf milkweed, Asclepias quadrifolia Green Antelopehorn, Asclepias viridis Green comet milkweed, Asclepias viridiflora Horsetail milkweed, Asclepias subverticillata Longleaf milkweed, Asclepias longifolia. Eastern tiger swallowtail and a bumble bee feed on Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) at the Monarch Waystation in historic Ball-Carlin Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia in June. Pictured here is a white species called poke milkweed or tall milkweed. From your pictures, I can see why this milkweed is called “poke weed” because the little hanging flowers look like tiny paper sacks! Milkweeds are probably best known for the white “milk” or latex that is exuded from the plant when a leaf or stem is broken. Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa Clasping milkweed, Asclepias amplexicaulis Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca Fewflower milkweed, Asclepias lanceolata Fourleaf milkweed, Asclepias quadrifolia Green comet milkweed, Asclepias viridiflora Longleaf milkweed, Asclepias longifolia. The majority of these are available at native plant nurseries. http://www.invitationtothegarden.WordPress.com, Follow VIRGINIA WILDFLOWERS on WordPress.com. Graphics: Marilyn Thomson If you are hungry and hasty (and keep slipping into stigmatic slits), then the pollinia you carry can multiply quickly and weigh you down. Good news, nature enthusiasts! Where is Milkweed Found? In addition to milkweeds, adult monarchs need sources of nectar almost year-round. Pocius, V.M., Debinski, D.M., Pleasants, J.M., Bidne, K.G. A monarch butterfly moves around a milkweed plant in Cedar Rapids in this archive photo from July 23, 2015. If you require more Asclepias plants then you should (very) carefully take root cuttings in the spring. A leafcutter bee (Megachile) carrying pollinia. Also be sure you buy insecticide-free plants. Milkweed (Asclepias spp. Asclepias eriocarpa. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Laden Sie lizenzfreie "Blüten der Gemeinen Milkweed (oder Schmetterlingsblume, Seidenweed, Seidenschwalbenkraut, Virginia Silkweed) in Innsbruck, Österreich. Monarch Butterfly Loves It : Flowering Plants : Garden & Outdoor If you imagined yourself as a butterfly, those delicate legs would have had a low success rate in removing the pollinia. Asclepias exaltata There are several species of milkweed in our area; the flowers might be pink, red, orange, green or white. Female monarchs deposit their eggs on milkweed during the breeding season (late spring through summer in Northern Virginia) and their caterpillars devour the leaves as they grow. 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