Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for September 1st, 2011

Wand milkweed

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Wand milkweed flowering; click for greater detail.

The most common milkweed in central Texas is one that goes by the strange name of antelope-horns (Asclepias asperula). That species, whose peak flowering time waned with the spring, has yet to make its appearance in this blog, but here’s a different milkweed that I found flowering twice in August: it’s Asclepias viridiflora, which stands erect and is therefore called wand milkweed, though some sources give it the fanciful name green comet milkweed. Its flowers form an approximate hemisphere, one of which projects toward you in the upper part of the photograph; you can see part of the flat back of another floral hemisphere below.

If you’re wondering what makes a milkweed a milkweed, notice the characteristic drop of “milk” on the left side of the stalk about a third of the way up from the bottom.

I found this plant growing at the same location as the bulrushes featured in yesterday’s post and the one from the day before.

You may want to visit the USDA website for more information on this species, including a clickable map showing the surprisingly many places in North America where wand milkweed grows.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 1, 2011 at 5:54 AM

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