A Lavender Monarda

A Lavender Monarda

Lavender Monarda

The pods split open at maturity to reveal the seeds within. A cotton-like fluff is attached to the seeds, allowing them to be spread by the wind. When the stem of showy milkweed is broken, a milky sap runs out of it, accounting for the common name "milkweed." The leaves are large andup to 8 inches long, oval, bluish-green, and have prominent veins. Showy milkweed provides two attractive components to your garden. First of all, it bears lovely rosy purple flowers. Secondly, it is also a great plant for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. In autumn, the flowers are succeeded by striking seed pods up to three inches long.


Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) is similar in form to Common Milkweed but less aggressive, making it more manageable in a garden setting. About 3 feet high, it features large oval leaves, and spikey pink flower clusters atop thick stems. The very fragrant blooms give way to prominent 2 - 3 inch long seed pods and the leaves turn bright Gold in the fall. Native to the western U.S. and upper Midwest, Showy Milkweed tolerates a variety of soil types and conditions and is very drought tolerant. Monarch butterflies lay their eggs exclusively on plants in the Asclepias genus, otherwise known as milkweeds. You're sure to see Monarchs when you plant milkweeds.Asclepias speciosa (Showy Milkweed) is an erect, clump-forming perennial prized for its brilliant spherical clusters of fragrant, pinkish-white, starry flowers, which bloom from late spring to early summer. The flowers are a great source of nectar for butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial insects. The flowers occur on stalks from the leaf axils and at the top of upright stems clad with velvety, large, oval, blue-green leaves. They give way to prominent seed pods in the fall, which look great in dried flower arrangements. When the seed pods open, they reveal seeds with long, silvery-white, silky hairs. A great choice for the flower garden and for natural settings. Milkweed plants are critical to the monarch butterflies survival, whose population in North America has plummeted by 90% in the last 20 years. By planting milkweed in your own garden, you can help reverse the fortune of these beautiful insects!

Asclepias speciosa is commonly known as Showy Milkweed and rightly so. The flowers look like an explosion of stars and are fragrant. Butterflies find them attractive for nectar and the Monarch caterpillars enjoy munching the leaves. It is a major host plant of the Monarch butterflies in the Western part of the US.However, Showy milkweed can be invasive in a garden setting. Like Common milkweed it will spread not only by seed but also by underground rhizomes. Some people have reported that Showy milkweed is a little less aggressive than Common milkweed but it still may be better suited for large areas or natural settings rather than an ornamental butterfly garden. You may want to consider some “better behaved” types of milkweed plants for small gardens (Source: www.joyfulbutterfly.com)




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