Friday, September 2, 2011

Red milkweed


A new milkweed, for me. Asclepias curassavica. It is growing prolifically on the block of Union between Smith and Hoyt where all the brownstones have long front gardens.

When looking it up at home I was sure I would read that it is invasive but no, no such thing. It is described instead as a plant of merit. From Mexico on down, it provides food for monarch butterflies. Do you think that they find it, on their weary flights back and forth along the length of this continent, and swoop down and drink in surprise?

Hardy to zone 9, it is grown here as an annual.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I've never seen red milkweed before. It's lovely. Back home, the monarch butterfly caterpillars eat crown flower, which is a mega-milkweed (as in tree size) of the asclepiadaceae family (Calotropis gigantea). We used to get caterpillars off the trees and raise them so we could release them as butterflies. One of my fondest childhood memories. That and making leis from the flowers. Here's a link:
    http://www.hear.org/starr/images/species/?q=calotropis+gigantea&o=plants

    Keli'i

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