Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Virginia Silkweed Flower

Asclepias syriaca, commonly called Common Milkweed, Butterfly flower, Silkweed, Silky Swallow-wort, Virginia Silkweed, is a herbaceous plant species. It is in the genus Asclepias, making it a type of milkweed. This species is native to most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains, excluding the drier parts of the Prairies. It grows in sandy soils and appreciates lots of sunlight. It was one of the earliest North American species described in Cornut's 1635 Canadensium plantarum historia. The specific epithet was reused by Linnaeus due to Cornut's confusion with a species from Asia Minor.

Common milkweed is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 1-2 m tall from a rhizome. The stem and all parts of the plants produce a white latex when broken. The leaves are opposite, simple broad ovate-lanceolate, 7-25 cm long and 3-12 cm broad, usually with an undulate margin and a red-colored main vein. They have a very short petiole and a velvety underside.

The flowers are grouped in several spherical umbels with numerous flowers in each umbel. The individual flowers are small, 1-2 cm diameter, perfumed, with five cornate hoods. The seeds are attached to long, white flossy hairs and encased in large follicles.




Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asclepias_syriaca

See also: Flowers Jamaica, Gift Philippines, Flower Philippines

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