How much do I really need to know about the Common Milkweed. It oozes white latex when broken. It’s fibers can be used for cordage and textiles. It was a Native American apothecary. It’s young shoots can be eaten. Just avoid the resinoides, glycosides, and alkaloids. Otherwise the hapless consumer can expect dullness, weakness, bloating, inability to stand, high body temperature, rapid pulse, breathing difficulty, dilated pupils, spasms and eventually coma. Not a problem for the Monarch butterfly, however, which draws its existence exclusively from the Milkweed’s resources. Even its toxicity helps deter Monarch predators.
This escaped me at 7:50 am on a delightful sixty-four degree morn after photographing a stunning Canada Lily a ways back, for the third time ever, after a fine night at the North River camp, tailgate open, breezes breezing, peepers peeping, hoot owls hooting, and the waning campfire flickering about. None registered as I gazed deeply into the interior of this radiating universe absorbing its exotic emanations and fantastical penumbras.
© d100612-014 Asclepias syriaca
Forest Service Road 95
Augusta County, Virginia
Saturday 12 June 2010