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Uses

Toxic parts

Although no specific reports have been seen for this species, many, if not all, members of this genus contain toxic resinoids, alkaloids and cardiac glycosides[1]. They are usually avoided by grazing animals[1]. One report says that the plant is considered poisonous in large quantities by some native North American Indian tribes[2].

Edible uses

Notes

Flower buds - raw or cooked[3][4]. They taste somewhat like peas[5]. They can be used to thicken soups[2].

Young shoots and leaves - cooked[6][3][7][4][8]. An asparagus substitute[5][9]. One report says that they should not be eaten raw[5], whilst another says that the young spring shoots were eaten raw by some native American tribes[2]. Tips of older shoots are cooked like spinach[5][9]. Young seed pods, 3 - 4 cm long - raw or cooked[5][2]. Very appetizing[5]. The immature pods are peeled before being eaten[2]. Flower clusters can be boiled down to make a sugary syrup[5] or they can be eaten raw[10][9]. Seed - raw[10][2]. A chewing gum can be made from the latex contained in the stem and leaves[6][3][4][9].

Root[9]. No further details are given, but another report says that the root can be poisonous in large quantities[2].

Flowers

Unknown part

Leaves

Seedpod

Material uses

A good quality tough fibre is obtained from the bark[4][11]. It is used in twine, coarse cloth, paper etc[4][11]. The fibre is 10 - 45mm long[12]. It is easily harvested in late autumn, after the plants have died down, by simply pulling it off the dead stems[13][14]. When making paper, the stems can be retted by leaving them in the ground until they are dry in the winter or they can be harvested in late summer, the leaves removed and the stems steamed to remove the fibre[12]. The stems are then cooked for two hours with lye and pounded with mallets[12]. The paper colour varies from white to creamy green depending on how the paper is made[12]. If the stems are used in the summer the latex will often find its way onto the fibres and is hard to remove[12].

The seed floss is used to stuff pillows etc, or is mixed with other fibres to make cloth[13][14]. It has also been used as a baby's nappy[2]. The seed floss is a Kapok substitute, used in Life Jackets or as a stuffing material[14]. It is very water repellent. The floss has also been used to mop up oil spills at sea. Rubber can be made from latex contained in the leaves and the stems[15][4][16]. The yield is up to 3%[16]. Pods contain an oil and a wax which are of potential importance.

A green dye is obtained from the flowers and leaves combined[13].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The latex is used as a cure for warts[13][2]. The latex needs to be applied at least once a day of a period of some weeks for it to be effective[K]. The latex has antiseptic properties and has been used to treat skin sores, cuts and ringworm[2].

A decoction of the plant tops can be strained and used to treat blindness and snow-blindness[2].

The root is either chewed when fresh, or dried, ground into a powder then boiled, and used in the treatment of stomach ache[2]. A decoction of the roots has been used in small doses to treat venereal diseases and also to treat coughs, especially from TB[2]. A poultice of the mashed roots has been applied to rheumatic joints[2]. Some caution should be employed when using the root since there is a report that it can be poisonous in large quantities[2].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in late winter[17][14]. We have also had good results from sowing the seed in the greenhouse in early spring[K], though stored seed might need 2 - 3 weeks cold stratification[17]. Germination usually takes place in 1 - 3 months at 18°c[17]. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out when they are in active growth in late spring or early summer and give them some protection from slugs until they are growing away strongly.

Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. Pot the divisions up and place them in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly, then plant them out in the summer, giving them some protection from slugs until they are established..

Basal cuttings in late spring. Use shoots about 10cm long with as much of their white underground stem as possible. Pot them up individually and place them in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until they are rooting and growing actively. If the plants grow sufficiently, they can be put into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in the greenhouse until the following spring and when they are in active growth plant them out into their permanent positions. Give them some protection from slugs until they are established.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Asclepias speciosa. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a well-drained light rich or peaty soil and a sunny position[18][17][19].

A very ornamental plant[18], it is closely related to A. purpurascens[19]. The roots can spread quite freely when the plant is in a suitable position[20]. Many members of this genus seem to be particularly prone to damage by slugs. The young growth in spring is especially vulnerable, but older growth is also attacked and even well-established plants have been destroyed in wet years[K]. Plants resent root disturbance and are best planted into their final positions whilst small[17].

The flower of many members of this genus can trap insects between its anther cells, the struggles of the insect in escaping ensure the pollination of the plant[21].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Asclepias speciosa. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Asclepias speciosa.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Asclepias speciosa
Genus
Asclepias
Family
Asclepiadaceae
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
2
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.1 Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J [Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas] Botanical Research Institute, Texas. (1999-00-00)
    2. ? 2.002.012.022.032.042.052.062.072.082.092.102.112.122.132.142.152.162.17 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.3 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.34.44.54.64.7 Balls. E. K. Early Uses of Californian Plants. University of California Press ISBN 0-520-00072-2 (1975-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.55.65.7 Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (1967-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.2 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants. Van Nostrand Reinhold ISBN 0442222009 (1982-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Saunders. C. F. Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-23310-3 (1976-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.49.5 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.2 Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237. U.S. Depf of Agriculture. ()
    11. ? 11.011.111.2 Turner. N. J. Plants in British Columbian Indian Technology. British Columbia Provincial Museum ISBN 0-7718-8117-7 (1979-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.212.312.412.5 Bell. L. A. Plant Fibres for Papermaking. Liliaceae Press (1988-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.313.413.5 Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.114.214.314.4 Buchanan. R. A Weavers Garden. ()
    15. ? 15.015.1 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
    16. ? 16.016.116.2 Whiting. A. G. A Summary of the Literature on Milkweeds (Asclepias spp) and their utilization. ()
    17. ? 17.017.117.217.317.4 Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 2. Thompson and Morgan. (1988-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    19. ? 19.019.119.2 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    20. ? Thomas. G. S. Perennial Garden Plants J. M. Dent & Sons, London. ISBN 0 460 86048 8 (1990-00-00)
    21. ? Coffey. T. The History and Folklore of North American Wild Flowers. Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-2624-6 (1993-00-00)
    22. ? Hitchcock. C. L. Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press (1955-00-00)

    "image:Asclepias speciosa1jakesmome.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Asclepias speciosa"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyAsclepiadaceae +
    Belongs to genusAsclepias +
    Has binomial nameAsclepias speciosa +
    Has common nameShowy Milkweed +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partFlowers +, Unknown part +, Leaves +, Root +, Seed + and Seedpod +
    Has edible useUnknown use +, Gum + and Sweetener +
    Has fertility typeSelf fertile +, Bees +, Insects + and Lepidoptera +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone2 +
    Has imageAsclepias speciosa1jakesmome.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useDye +, Fibre +, Latex +, Oil +, Paper +, Pollution + and Stuffing +
    Has mature height0.75 +
    Has mature width0.6 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAntirheumatic +, Antiseptic +, Ophthalmic +, Skin +, Stomachic +, VD + and Warts +
    Has primary imageAsclepias speciosa1jakesmome.jpg +
    Has search nameasclepias speciosa + and showy milkweed +
    Has shade toleranceLight shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid +, Neutral + and Alkaline +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy + and Loamy +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameAsclepias speciosa +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
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