This is the time of year in South Dakota that the milk weeds are just about to bloom. When they bloom, the smell reminds me of candy!
This common Milkweed (Asclepias Syriaca) with white to-pink, to-pale-lavender bell-like flowers and grows between three and five feet tall. There are 76 different milkweed species.
The leaves of the Asclepias species are the only food source for Monarch Butterfly larvae and other milkweed butterflies.The cultivation of it supports the life cycle of the monarch butterfly which is currently labeled as an endangered species.
The nectar is a great food source for butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and all nectar loving animals.
Milkweed was commonly used in a number of natural remedies such as the milky white sap was applied topically to remove warts, and the roots were chewed to cure dysentery. Infusions of the roots and leaves were taken to suppress coughs and used to treat typhus fever and asthma.
The seed pods were used as tinder to start fires and the silky white floss was used for stuffing pillows and quilts.
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June 26th, 2018
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