Hierba de zizotes
Here’s a first for this blog: Asclepias oenotheroides, which has the vernacular names side-cluster milkweed and (even in English) hierba de zizotes. Hierba in Spanish means ‘plant,’ and as best I can make out, zizote is one of various forms of a Mexican Spanish word—others being sicote, cizote, sisote—that refers to a type of skin lesion. When milkweeds are bent or bruised, they release drops of a white liquid that can indeed irritate some people’s skin, so perhaps this species of milkweed was known to cause those lesions. Or maybe the opposite was true, namely that this plant could be used to treat that skin condition. If anyone has better information about the name, I’d be glad to hear it.
In any case, you need no words to enjoy this milkweed flower, seed, and silk that I found at the Meister Lane cul-de-sac in southeastern Round Rock on October 1st.
© 2015 Steven Schwartzman