Flower of the Day: Common Milkweed

Asclepias syriaca; Asclepiadaceae (milkweed family)

20140708-DSC_0138-2 Click on the picture below to enlarge and check out all the tiny moths! 20140708-DSC_0130 There are a whopping 72 native species of Asclepias found all over the US and Canada.  About a dozen of them are in the mid-Atlantic.

Closeup of two individual flowers:20140708-DSC_0152

Mug shot:

20140708-DSC_0172

This is a big plant – up to six feet – with big leaves and big, showy, fragrant flowers heads, each of which can bear up to 120 individual flowers. It’s good for attracting butterflies but beware if you want it in your garden: because it spreads vigorously by roots, it’s considered a weed in much of its range. The USDA site has a great document about the plant, including interesting ethnobotanical history. Tomorrow, another type of milkweed.

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