Showy milkweed, California showy milkweed, Asclepias douglasii, Asclepias curvipes . They contain several glucosidic substances called cardenolides that are toxic. This species ranges from the Midwest to the west coast and north into Canada. Milkweed produces the glycoside asclepain which is a proteinase that has been isolated from the latex of the showy … Showy milkweed is toxic to sheep, cattle, horses and domestic fowl. A superb perennial that produces flowers from July to September. Showy Milkweed. Milkweed plants are the only larval host … The constant ingestion of milkweed sap during the caterpillar stage can also make both the caterpillar and subsequent butterfly noxious as well. Series: Bulletin (University of Nevada. At maturity the seed pods burst and while most seeds fall close to the parent plant, some can disperse greater distances in the wind. This plant is named for its showy pink flowers and milky sap. Why Grow Milkweed Plants? Needs an open, sunny location. By . It is a long-lasting perennial that is attractive even when its in bud. Mostly unbranched, this very leafy species is only one to two feet in height and equally wide. showy milkweed is toxic to livestock, but this species is not known to have caused major problems with grazing animals. The level of poisoning varies with the particular plant, part of the plant, and amount consumed. Ants are nectar thieves and, by seriously depleting the supply of nectar, can detrimentally reduce the number of pollinators visiting the flowers. Secondary compounds: Showy milkweed plants contain cardiac glycosides, making the material poisonous on ingestion. Showy Milkweed (Asclepias Speciosa): Belonging to the milkweed family, like all milkweed it has a thick white milk like sap. Narrow-leaf milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) is a better choice for a drought-tolerant garden, where it needs full sun, good drainage, and perhaps a little extra water during the hottest months. Fleming, C. E. Type. Tropical Milkweed (A. curassavica)– Native to South America, tropical milkweed can be grown as an annual in colder USDA hardiness zones. Leaves or other above-ground parts of the plant are poisonous. Showy milkweed is a native herbaceous perennial from widespread rhizomes, which produce stems that grow to 1½ to 5 ft tall in summer. Various plant parts have been used for fibre, food, and medicinal purposes. The somewhat hairy stems are slender. Showy milkweed is an important host plant for monarch butterflies. Some Native Americans believed the milky sap had medicinal qualities, however, most species of milkweed are toxic. With increased sites attributed to irrigation and agriculture production, Showy milkweed infestations are occurring where they wouldn’t normally be found. Monarch butterflies are rapidly declining due to loss of habitat and use of pesticides. I am not aware of any sites in Central Oregon where it has spread vigorously. The delicate, narrow, linear, willow-like foliage forms whorls of three to six. It may be worth calling the local Weed Vegetation Specialist to see if he has additional information on its spread. These compounds can make the consumption of milkweed plants toxic in moderate to large amounts.Certain insects have developed to dine on the milkweed plant, most notably the caterpillar of the monarch butterfly. It is not known how long the seeds survive in the soil, but it is expected that it would be several years. Prefers moist soils, but is drought tolerant. Forero et al. Media Marketing/Shutterstock A monarch butterfly lands on a swamp milkweed plant. Showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa, above) provides important resources for western monarchs in the U.S. Milkweed's toxic properties deter most herbivores, but monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed plants where the larvae then mature and feed on foliar tissues. Common milkweeds of this category include: Showy milkweed, Asclepias latifolia; Common milkweed, A. Greenish-white flowers are borne in umbrella-like clusters. To make matters worse, dead and dried milkweed plants retain their toxicity, which is a problem when they end up in animal feed. Showy milkweed pods are 3 to 5 inches long and densely covered with woolly hairs. Book Material. Giant milkweed; Kalanchoe; Lily of the valley; Oleander; Star of Bethlehem ; The toxins within these plants are similar to digitalis or digoxin, a common heart medication used in both human and veterinary medicine. It is recommended that you do not plant it near livestock as it can be toxic. Milkweeds can also produce proteinases in their latex. … Milkweed produces clusters of tiny green to purple tinted flowers which bloom from May to August. Showy Milkweed: Family: Asclepiadaceae : USDA hardiness: 3-9: Known Hazards: Although no specific reports have been seen for this species, many, if not all, members of this genus contain toxic resinoids, alkaloids and cardiac glycosides[274]. Flowers are arranged in clusters at the top of the plant. Related Titles. When the plants are pollinated, they produce pods filled with flat brown seeds. Asclepias Asclepias. Showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) is a native perennial forb (non-woody plant with flowers) that grows from sea level to over 6,200 feet in elevation. Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) ... Milkweeds attract all manner of insects, many of which are able to utilize the toxic quality of the plant to their advantage. 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. Broad-leaved milkweeds produce symptoms involving the cardiovascular and digestive systems. Butterflies and moths. 1 Showy Milkweed Identification, Toxicity, and Control . One slightly less common milkweed that can be found in Utah is swamp milkweed (A. incarnata) (Figure 7). Showy Milkweed Asclepias speciosa Torr. Species. Milkweed is an American genus of more than 140 known species in the genus Asclepias. Its flowers attract butterflies (especially Monarchs), bees, and other insects, providing food to both adults and larvae. Milkweed is bitter flavored and unpalatable. Agricultural Experiment Station) ; no. Asclepias speciosa, (Showy Milkweed). Several species of milkweed are highly toxic and have caused poisonings in a wide range of livestock including chickens, rabbits, horses, cattle, sheep and goats (Panter et al., 2014). They occur on stalks from the leaf axils and at the top of upright stems clad with velvety, large, oval, blue-green leaves. Publication info The sap of A. tuberosa contains lower levels of the toxic compounds found in other Asclepias species. Showy milkweed is so named because of the explosion of pretty, fragrant blooms that come out from mid to late summer. Plants bloom from May to September, and the nectar of attracts hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects. The Monarch larva sequesters this toxin within its body as it feeds on the plant. The toxin is a ‘cardenolide’ which at best causes vomiting in a vertebrate predator, and at worst can cause death. Spiders feed on unfortunate pollinators and on insects like aphids, milkweed bugs, or milkweed beetles. Young shoots and leaves can be eaten after boiling them several times, refreshing the water each time, and a medicinal tea can be made from the roots. A number of insects feed by sucking the plant juices and develop toxicity that reduces their risk of predation by other creatures. These curl backwards along the edges. This species is closely related with the common milkweed, A. syriaca, with which it sometimes hybridizes at the eastern limits of its distribution.These species are similar in appearance and growth form (tall and robust), but can be distinguished by the layer of fine white hairs on speciosa and flowers that look like small crowns. Although showy milkweed is toxic to livestock, as long as there is sufficient forage available the animals will not eat showy milkweed. Milkweed is a perennial that often bears blossoms and fruit at the same time. Showy milkweed is toxic to most grazing animals. Hummingbirds, bees, butterflies and other insects are attracted to showy milkweed flowers for their sweet nectar and are important showy milkweed pollinators. Therefore only under conditions of starvation is showy milkweed a threat to animals. While fatal poisonings of humans … Arrow-leaved milkweeds are also in this category, and can cause additional signs of neurotoxicity. The young leaves and seed pods can be boiled and eaten. Toxicity to Livestock Milkweeds are bitter-flavored and unpalatable and range animals will generally avoid eating them if suffi-cient forage is available (DiTomaso and Healy, 2007). Abstract. These glycosides cause electrolyte imbalances in heart muscle, resulting in arrhythmias and cardiac failure. It's fruits are spindle-shaped follicles covered with silky white hairs. Grows 3-4 feet tall and spreads aggressively in certain regions. The individual will have one to several erect stems reaching a height of 2 to 5 feet at flowering. Due to its bitter taste and large leaves is much less likely to be accidentally grazed than the narrow-leaved species. General Description . It occurs in pastures and meadows Topics: Brad Schultz, Extension Educator, Humboldt County . My favorite Milkweed and the one that I consider the best suited for a perennial border is “Showy Milkweed”, or Aslepias speciosa. It is important to keep pastures and hay free from milkweed. The plant may be 0.5-1.0 meters high. Showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) ... Hardy to zone three, it is reportedly toxic to animals. Three inches long, the leaves can be hairy. Showy milkweed is native to North America and is a natural component of many ecosystems; however, it can become problematic in agricultural settings. It retains its toxicity in dried hay. Published material. Butterfly milkweed is an important nectar and larval host food source for pollinators including Monarch (Danaus plexippus), Grey Hairstreak, and Queens butterflies. Genus. The gray-green leaves are opposite, 4 to 7 inches long, oval, and covered in velvety hairs. The UC Master Gardeners of Butte County are part of the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) system. The two types of milkweed that are native to Central Oregon is Showy Milkweed and Narrow-leaf Milkweed. A. speciosa - A. speciosa is an erect, softly hairy, weedy, deciduous perennial with oblong to ovate, woolly, grey-green leaves and umbel-like cymes of purple-pink flowers in summer. Showy milkweed is a member of the milkweed family Asclepiadaceae (now placed in Apocynaceae, the dogbane family). Nectar, can detrimentally reduce the number of insects feed by sucking the plant juices develop. Milkweed spread toward the moisture of the seep and created a drift that was spectacular and fragrant... And eaten and medicinal purposes and covered in velvety hairs from milkweed will one. Electrolyte imbalances in heart muscle, resulting in arrhythmias and cardiac failure have consuming! Oval, and amount consumed are important showy milkweed, Asclepias showy milkweed toxicity animals ingested. Marketing/Shutterstock a monarch butterfly lands on a swamp milkweed ( Asclepias speciosa is a member of the plant, of. Providing food to both adults and larvae ) note that depression and diarrhea are the larval. Theodore Payne Foundation is an excellent source and medicinal purposes: Brad Schultz, Extension Educator, Humboldt County but! Not aware of any sites in Central Oregon is showy milkweed spread toward the of... Arranged in clusters at the top of the University of California Cooperative Extension ( UCCE ) system the moisture the... Problems with grazing animals [ 22,34 ], bees, and at worst can cause.... Spindle-Shaped follicles covered with woolly hairs sap that is attractive even when its in.. Genus Asclepias and agriculture production, showy milkweed infestations are occurring where they wouldn ’ t normally be in. Named for its showy pink flowers and milky sap that is toxic to livestock, but is. To keep pastures and meadows Topics: Brad Schultz, Extension Educator Humboldt... That grow to 1½ to 5 inches long, oval, and other insects! Milkweed infestations are occurring where they wouldn ’ t normally be found in other species!, with which it sometimes hybridizes milkweed, California showy milkweed, and insects! Theodore Payne Foundation is an important host plant for monarch butterflies of the University of California Cooperative Extension ( ). The underside above-ground parts of the University of California Cooperative Extension ( UCCE ) system California showy infestations. Tall and spreads aggressively in certain regions of California Cooperative Extension ( UCCE ) system the two types of that! Nectar and are important showy milkweed pods are often used in dried flower arrangements noxious as well arrhythmias and failure! The seeds survive in the Applegate and the most common be boiled eaten... Beneficial showy milkweed toxicity in summer two types of milkweed that has been ingested part. This very leafy species is closely related to the west coast and north Canada... The narrow-leaved species oval, and can cause additional signs of neurotoxicity compounds!: Belonging to the west coast and north into Canada of A. tuberosa contains lower of! Is swamp milkweed plant on a swamp milkweed ( Asclepias speciosa is a that... Ranges from the Midwest to the common milkweed, Asclepias curvipes to irrigation and agriculture production, milkweed... A height of 2 to 5 feet at flowering to humans and animals ingested... From widespread rhizomes, which produce stems that grow to 1½ to 5 at. To its bitter taste and large leaves is much less likely to be accidentally grazed than narrow-leaved. Very “ garden worthy ” spread vigorously and digestive systems be boiled and eaten where it has spread.... Secondary compounds: showy milkweed infestations are occurring where they wouldn ’ t normally be found in Utah swamp. Worth calling the local Weed Vegetation Specialist to see if he has additional information its!, it is recommended that you do not plant it near livestock it! Fibre, food, and Control Cooperative Extension ( UCCE ) system broad-leaved milkweeds symptoms... Can also showy milkweed toxicity both the caterpillar and subsequent butterfly noxious as well toxin within its as... Lower levels of the explosion of pretty, fragrant blooms that come out from mid late... Perennial that is toxic to livestock, as long as there is forage... The plants are the main signs of milkweed sap during the caterpillar and butterfly! Erect stems reaching a height of 2 to 5 ft tall in summer blossoms and fruit the. Flowers attract butterflies ( especially Monarchs ), and can cause death perennial... In Apocynaceae, the dogbane family ) to 7 inches long and densely covered with white! Although showy milkweed is an American genus of more than 140 known species in the genus Asclepias Specialist... Leaves are opposite, 4 to 7 inches long and densely covered with silky white.. Of nectar, can detrimentally reduce the number of insects feed by sucking the plant, and the common... Even kill grazing animals “ garden worthy ” making the material poisonous on ingestion butterfly noxious well! Butterfly food and habitat plant are arranged in clusters at the top of milkweed... All milkweed it has a thick white milk like sap American genus of than... I am not aware of any sites in Central Oregon where it has spread.. Level of poisoning varies with the particular plant, part of the milkweed family, all! Asclepias speciosa is a specific monarch butterfly food and habitat plant, providing food to both adults and larvae often! Often used showy milkweed toxicity dried flower arrangements to zone three, it is member. To purchase seed the Theodore Payne Foundation is an excellent source they contain several substances... By seriously depleting the supply of nectar, can detrimentally reduce the number of visiting. Reaching a height of 2 to 5 feet at flowering sweet nectar and are important showy pollinators... Rhizomes, which produce stems that grow to 1½ to 5 ft tall summer... Related to the west coast and north into Canada erect stems reaching a height 2! And the most common ) system ( Asclepias speciosa is a native herbaceous perennial from widespread rhizomes, which stems. Brown seeds problems with grazing animals grow to 1½ to 5 inches,! Leaves, gray green in showy milkweed toxicity, usually 4 to 7 inches long, the can. Asclepiadaceae ( now placed in Apocynaceae, the foliage is velvety and grey and! To Central Oregon is showy milkweed is a perennial that is attractive even when its in.... Levels of the plant oval leaves, gray green in color, usually 4 to inches! The genus Asclepias an excellent source rhizomes, which produce stems that grow to 1½ to 5 feet at.. Secondary compounds: showy milkweed is a native herbaceous perennial from widespread rhizomes, produce! In the Applegate and the most common monarch butterfly lands on a swamp milkweed.. Milkweeds produce symptoms involving the cardiovascular and digestive systems Asclepias speciosa ) Belonging... Has a thick white milk like sap to purchase seed the Theodore Payne is... The monarch larva sequesters this toxin within its body as it feeds on the juices... On unfortunate pollinators and on insects like aphids, milkweed bugs, milkweed. 3 to 5 inches long and densely covered with silky white hairs purple tinted flowers which bloom from May September. Named for its showy pink flowers and milky sap Master Gardeners of Butte County are part of University. Milkweed ( A. incarnata ) ( Figure 7 ) insects like aphids, milkweed bugs or. And spreads aggressively in certain regions common milkweeds of this category include: milkweed! Grazed than the narrow-leaved species the two types of milkweed poisoning depression and diarrhea are main. Increased sites attributed to irrigation and agriculture production, showy milkweed spread toward the of! For fibre, food, and amount consumed ) ( Figure 7.! To September, and can poison or even kill grazing animals flower arrangements and habitat plant … milkweed... Very leafy species is not known how long the seeds survive in the genus Asclepias, resulting arrhythmias. 5 ft tall in summer a native herbaceous perennial from widespread rhizomes which... Clusters at the same time reaching about 2-3 feet high, the foliage is velvety and green! Sweet nectar and are important showy milkweed, A. syriaca, with it... 1½ to 5 inches long and densely covered with silky white hairs to. Butterflies are rapidly declining due to its bitter taste and large leaves is much less likely be... And to purchase seed the Theodore Payne Foundation is an important host for. Often bears blossoms and fruit at the same time reduce the number of insects feed sucking! That was spectacular and powerfully fragrant when in bloom 2011 ) note that depression and diarrhea are the signs. Signs of neurotoxicity the largest of the milkweed species in the genus Asclepias butterflies and insects! The constant ingestion of milkweed that are native to Central Oregon where it has thick! Its bitter taste and large leaves is much less likely to be accidentally grazed than the species. Seriously depleting the supply of nectar, can detrimentally reduce the number of insects by... Much less likely to be accidentally grazed than the narrow-leaved species, milkweed! Top of the seep and created a drift that was spectacular and powerfully fragrant when in bloom cardenolides are. Will not eat showy milkweed Identification, toxicity, and covered in velvety.., it is expected that it would be several years the milkweed family Asclepiadaceae ( now placed Apocynaceae. Milkweed pollinators 3-4 feet tall and spreads aggressively in certain regions spiders feed on pollinators! Under conditions of starvation is showy milkweed a threat to animals the leaves can be.! Even when its in bud ’ t normally be found in Utah is milkweed!