Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘milkweed

Greenity*

with 6 comments

Gall on Common Milkweed Leaf 7886

At the risk of greening you out with a third post in a row that’s heavy on that color, here’s another view of common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, this time from Illinois Beach State Park on June 14. I no longer remember what cast the pleasantly undulating shadow on the left side of the leaf, but one lobe of that shadow worked to highlight the lone gall there.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman


* We don’t normally stick a Latin-derived suffix on a native English word the way I’ve done with greenity, but some hybrids (for example outage) have entered our standard vocabulary. In searching the Internet now I see that I’m not the first person to come up with greenity.

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 9, 2016 at 5:12 AM

Not from Syria

with 26 comments

Asclepias syriaca Buds 7533

From the Volo Bog State Natural Area in Lake County, Illinois, on June 7th, here are some buds of common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca. Its distribution across America is wide, but that doesn’t excuse the botanist who jumped the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and named this species after Syria.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 7, 2016 at 4:56 AM

Speaking of antelope-horns milkweed

with 27 comments

Milkweed Bug on Antelope Horns Milkweed Leaf 2134

Speaking of antelope-horns milkweed (Asclepias asperula), as I did last time when I showed a snail on one, let me add that I also noticed a typical quota of milkweed bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus) on the antelope-horns plants that I stopped to examine on the prairie in northeast Austin on April 22.

For a closer look at the milkweed bug, the better to see it staring back at you, click the excerpt below.

Milkweed Bug on Antelope Horns Milkweed Leaf 2134A

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 17, 2016 at 5:03 AM

Milkweed flower globe

with 32 comments

Antelope Horns Flower Globe 0643

The last thing I’ll show in this series from my visit to the Doeskin Ranch in Burnet County on April 8 is a flower globe of antelope-horns milkweed, Asclepias asperula, the most common milkweed species in central Texas.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 2, 2016 at 5:14 AM

Hierba de zizotes

with 24 comments

Hierba de Zizotes Flowers and Seed 7236

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

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 15, 2015 at 5:02 AM

Antelope horns milkweed fluff and a cast-off spider exoskeleton

with 21 comments

Antelope Horns Milkweed Fluff with Molted Spider Exoskeleton 3491

Near the end of our nature walk at David and Jolyn’s place in Dripping Springs on May 30th, I knelt to photograph the first split-open pod I’d seen this year of an antelope horns milkweed, Asclepias asperula, and in the fluff I noticed a spider’s cast-off exoskeleton. Color aside, it does look something like one of the milkweed’s silk-bearing seeds, don’t you think?

To see the many places in the southwestern United States where this species of milkweed grows, you can check out the USDA map.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 28, 2015 at 4:48 AM

%d bloggers like this: