Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for September 3rd, 2011

Pod but not podcast

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Pod of Asclepias viridiflora; click for greater detail.

Today’s post is the last of three about wand milkweed, Asclepias viridiflora. Yesterday’s picture partly revealed—and therefore also partly concealed—one of the plant’s pods, which lack the prominent warty texture of the pods of some other local milkweed species. It’s clear from this photograph of the upper part of a still-green pod that the surface is fuzzy.

Two things at the tip of the pod bear mentioning. One is that all fruit comes from flowers, and here we see the drying remains of an individual wand milkweed flower still attached to its fruit, which is the pod; when I was photographing I noticed that on many other nearby pods the flower had already come off. The second thing of interest is the amber-like glob on the right side of the pod’s tip, adjacent to two tiny drops of “milk”; if anyone knows what the amber glob is, we (I’ll speak collectively) would appreciate your telling us in a comment.

I found this wand milkweed growing at the northeast quadrant of US 183 and MLK in east Austin on August 23.

You can visit the USDA website for more information, including a clickable map showing the surprisingly many places in North America where wand milkweed grows.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 3, 2011 at 6:10 AM

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