Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Milk-weed

Asclpias syriaca (Milkweed). It is a lovely plant in the garden and it is wild. However I grow it in order to help the Monarch Butter-fly

A close up of the Milkweed. Even if you let a few grow in the garden it does help. It is very easy to weed out or just dead head the flowers.

Milkweed is a common folk remedy used for removing warts. Milkweed sap is applied directly to the wart several times daily until the wart falls off. Dandelions sap is often used in the same manner.

Milkweed is beneficial to nearby plants, repelling some pests, especially wire-warms.


Milkweed also contains cardiac glycoside poisons which inhibit animal cells from maintaining a proper K+, Ca+ concentration gradient. As a result many natives of South America and Africa used arrows poisoned with these glycosides to fight and hunt more effectively. Milkweed is toxic and may cause death when animals consume 1/10 its body weight in any part of the plant. Milkweed also causes mild dermatitis in some who come in contact with it.

Milkweed sap is also externally used as a natural remedy for Poison Ivy.

why you should grow it
Being the sole food source of Monarch Butter-fly larva, the plant is often used in Butter-fly Gardening


  1. Hope things are going better for you. Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement.

    Blessings, hugs, and prayers,

  2. your welcome,
    and always may God always be with you

  3. dear sonny..of course, as usual your roses are beautiful, but i am so glad to see the milkweed here.
    i remember out in rivers that this was the one "weed" that we used to wait for come the cooler weather in august.
    although bernie and i found many of the wild plants and flowers at the base when we visited there,last year, i couldn't find a milk weed ANYWHERE, so i am glad that you posted these pictures and had a write up about them.
    you know sonny as i was just thinking about visiting that deserted and torn down base,i thought of the laughter from the little children as they ran around,picking the wild flowers..choice bouquets for their moms.
    well the place is silent now but even though mostly everything is gone...even our school house, those wild flowers and "weeds" still keep on growing year after year...oh the stories that they could tell, eh?
    take care now and i hope that you like the pictures that i sent to you sonny...of the old rivers camp golden kids!.....love terry

  4. Reg these are Interesting facts I didn't know about milkweed. In fact I have never seen this plant. I don't think it grows where I live.

  5. I actually like the plant as they are rather attractive. I do not believe that their range goes that far at all. But if you have Monarch Butterflies you must have Milkweed. The young can only eat this for food.
    Two years ago I managed a series of pictures from egg to adult right in my front yard garden it was such a learning curve for me.

    The tragedy here is and in the corn belt in the USA is that Milkweed had been for decades sprayed to get rid of it. There was a huge decline in the Monarch because of it. Now in Ontario at least, Milkweed is no longer sprayed as it once was.