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Common Milkweed
Asclepias syriaca

This picture shows the Milkweed plant after its pink flower clusters have died away, and its pods have formed. As the plant dies away, the pods dry on the stem, and burst open in late Fall or early Spring to release the seeds inside. the most notable characteristic of the common milkweed is its position as the sole source of food for the larvae of the monarch butterfly. The plant contains glycosides, which, when eaten by the caterpillars, make the butterfly distasteful and toxic to predators in every stage of its life.

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Page last updated Sat Oct 1 10:04:10 CDT 2005
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