Mysterious Milkweed

Life of a milkweed plant. Blooms smell so sweet. There is a good chance that you have seen milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) growing somewhere near you. Milkweed grows from a single stem with leaves that are elliptical and opposite. Bloom colors can be purple, rose, or green, and the pods develop at the crux of a leaf. There are over 100 species in the Americas. They can live in swamps, fields, and on forest edges. Milkweeds are important to many insects, not just monarch butterfly caterpillars, as a nectar and food source. Last year I read a book by Craig Holdrege called Thinking Like a Plant. His section on milkweed was fascinating. He spent months observing milkweed to see how it develo

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