Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)


Comments:  Flowers from June to August in fields and at roadsides. "The plant contains cardiac glycosides, allied to those in Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) of the figwort family (Scropulariaceae), used in treating some heart diseases. The glycosides, when absorbed by Monarch butterfly larvae whose sole source of food is milkweed foliage, make the larvae and adult butterflies toxic to birds and other predators. Linnaeus, who named this species, mistakenly thought that it was from Syria, hence the species name." (NAS Field Guide to Wildflowers). Photographed in western Garrett Co., Maryland (7/30/2005). Click here to learn more about planting milkweed for Monarchs!


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