This article has been marked as incomplete and in need of reformatting. Please help us to improve it.

Practical Plants is a community wiki. You can edit this page to improve the quality of the information it contains. To learn how, please read the editing guide.

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]. The older leaves are poisonous if eaten in large quantities[2][3]. The plant contains cardioactive compounds and is potentially toxic[4].

Edible uses

Notes

Unopened flower buds - cooked. They taste somewhat like peas. They are used like broccoli[5].

Flowers and young flower buds - cooked. They have a mucilaginous texture and a pleasant flavour, they can be used as a flavouring and a thickener in soups etc[6][7][8]. The flower clusters can be boiled down to make a sugary syrup[9][10]. The flowers are harvested in the early morning with the dew still on them[11]. When boiled up they make a brown sugar[11]. Young shoots - cooked. An asparagus substitute[9][12][13][6][14][11][5]. They should be used when less than 20cm tall[15]. A slightly bitter taste[15]. Tips of older shoots are cooked like spinach[10][5]. Young seed pods, 3 - 4 cm long, cooked[9][13][6][10]. They are very appetizing. Best used when about 2 - 4cm long and before the seed floss forms, on older pods remove any seed floss before cooking them[10][15]. If picked at the right time, the pods resemble okra[5]. The sprouted seeds can be eaten[5]. An edible oil is obtained from the seed[6][16].

The latex in the stems is a suitable replacement for chicle and can be made into a chewing gum[17][18][19]. It is not really suitable for use in tyres[19]. The latex is found mainly in the leaves and is destroyed by frost[20]. Yields are higher on dry soils[20].

Flowers

Unknown part

Leaves

Seedpod

Material uses

A good quality fibre is obtained from the inner bark of the stems. It is long and quite strong, but brittle[19]. It can be used in making twine, cloth, paper etc[11][20][21]. The fibre is of poor quality in wet seasons[20]. It is easily harvested in late autumn after the plant has died down by simply pulling the fibres off the dried stems[21]. It is estimated that yields of 1,356 kilos per hectare could be obtained from wild plants[19].

The seed floss is used to stuff pillows etc or is mixed with other fibres to make cloth[20][15][21][16]. It is a Kapok substitute, used in Life Jackets or as a stuffing material[20]. Very water repellent, it can yield up to 550 kilos per hectare[20]. The floss absorbs oil whilst repelling water and so has also been used to mop up oil spills at sea. Candlewicks can be made from the seed floss[20][22]. In cultivation, only 1 - 3% of the flowers produce mature pods[19]. It is estimated that yields of 1,368 kilos per hectare could be obtained from wild plants[19]. Rubber can be made from latex contained in the leaves and the stems[17][23][7][15]. It is found mainly in the leaves and is destroyed by frost[20]. Yields of 197 kilos per hectare can be expected from wild plants, it is estimated that by selection these yields could be increased to 897 kilos[19]. Yields are higher on dry soils[20]. The latex can also be used as a glue for fixing precious stones into necklaces, earrings etc[8]. The latex contains 0.1 - 1.5% caoutchouc, 16 - 17% dry matter, and 1.23% ash. It also contains the digitalis-like mixture of a- and b-asclepiadin, the antitumor b-sitosterol, and a- and b-amyrin and its acetate, dextrose and wax[19]. Pods contain an oil and a wax which are of potential importance.

The seed contains up to 20% of an edible semi-drying oil[24][20]. It is also used in making liquid soap[24].

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The root is anodyne, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant and purgative[12][3][4]. It has been used in the treatment of asthma, kidney stones, venereal disease etc[25][8]. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

An infusion of the pounded roots has been used by the women of some native North American Indian tribes to promote temporary sterility[26][8]. The leaves and/or the latex are used in folk remedies for treating cancer and tumours[19]. The milky latex from the stems and leaves is used in the treatment of warts[12][15][4][8]. The latex needs to be applied at least daily over a period of up to a few weeks to be effective. The stems can be cooked and applied as a poultice on rheumatic joints[8]. One reported Mohawk antifertility concoction contained milkweed and jack-in-the-pulpit, both considered contraceptive. Dried and pulverized, a fistful of milkweed and three Arisaema rhizomes were infused in a pint of water for 20 minutes. The infusion was drunk, a cupful an hour, to induce temporary sterility[19].

The rhizome is used in homeopathy as an antioedemic and emmenagogue in the treatment of dropsy and dysmenorrhoea[19].

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[27][21]. 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[27]. Germination usually takes place in 1 - 3 months at 18°c[27]. 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 syriaca. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Succeeds in any good soil[28]. Prefers a well-drained light rich or peaty soil[29][30]. Requires a moist peaty soil and a sunny position[31][27].

Plants are hardy to about -25°c[28]. A very ornamental plant[29], though it can be invasive by means of its spreading root system[30]. The flowers diffuse a delicious scent into the garden. This scent attracts bees, who obtain copious supplies of nectar from the plants[50, 74, K], though unfortunately the plants do not always flower in Britain[K]. 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[22]. This plant has a very wide range of uses and merits attention as a food, fibre and rubber crop[K]. It was possibly cultivated at one time by the North American Indians for its many uses[15]. It is considered by some to be the greatest underachiever among plants. Its potential appears great, yet until now it has never been continuously processed for commercial purposes[19]. 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[27].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Asclepias syriaca. 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 syriaca.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Asclepias syriaca
Genus
Asclepias
Family
Asclepiadaceae
Imported References
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
3
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
    1 x 1 meters
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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

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


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

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

    "image:Milkweed in Bloom.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Milkweed in Bloom.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Milkweed in Bloom.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Milkweed in Bloom.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:Milkweed in Bloom.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Milkweed in Bloom.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Milkweed in Bloom.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.






    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. ? Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening. Garden Way, Vermont, USA. ISBN 0-88266-064-0 (1978-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.2 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.3 Foster. S. & Duke. J. A. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants. Eastern and Central N. America. Houghton Mifflin Co. ISBN 0395467225 (1990-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.35.45.5 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.16.26.36.4 Harris. B. C. Eat the Weeds. Pivot Health (1973-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.17.27.3 Kavasch. B. Native Harvests. Vintage Books ISBN 0-394-72811-4 (1979-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.58.68.78.8 Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-453-9 (1998-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.3 Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.110.210.310.4 Harrington. H. D. Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains. University of New Mexico Press ISBN 0-8623-0343-9 (1967-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.411.5 Saunders. C. F. Edible and Useful Wild Plants of the United States and Canada. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-23310-3 (1976-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.112.212.312.4 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.113.213.3 Fernald. M. L. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Co. (1950-00-00)
    14. ? 14.014.1 Elias. T. and Dykeman. P. A Field Guide to N. American Edible Wild Plants. Van Nostrand Reinhold ISBN 0442222009 (1982-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.115.215.315.415.515.615.715.815.9 McPherson. A. and S. Wild Food Plants of Indiana. Indiana University Press ISBN 0-253-28925-4 (1977-00-00)
    16. ? 16.016.116.216.3 Hill. A. F. Economic Botany. The Maple Press (1952-00-00)
    17. ? 17.017.117.217.3 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    18. ? 18.018.1 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    19. ? 19.0019.0119.0219.0319.0419.0519.0619.0719.0819.0919.1019.1119.1219.1319.14 Duke. J. Handbook of Energy Crops - (1983-00-00)
    20. ? 20.0020.0120.0220.0320.0420.0520.0620.0720.0820.0920.1020.1120.12 Whiting. A. G. A Summary of the Literature on Milkweeds (Asclepias spp) and their utilization. ()
    21. ? 21.021.121.221.321.4 Buchanan. R. A Weavers Garden. ()
    22. ? 22.022.122.2 Coffey. T. The History and Folklore of North American Wild Flowers. Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-2624-6 (1993-00-00)
    23. ? 23.023.1 Schery. R. W. Plants for Man. ()
    24. ? 24.024.124.2 Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
    25. ? 25.025.1 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    26. ? 26.026.1 Weiner. M. A. Earth Medicine, Earth Food. Ballantine Books ISBN 0-449-90589-6 (1980-00-00)
    27. ? 27.027.127.227.327.4 Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 2. Thompson and Morgan. (1988-00-00)
    28. ? 28.028.1 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Perennials Volumes 1 and 2. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30936-9 (1991-00-00)
    29. ? 29.029.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    30. ? 30.030.130.2 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    31. ? Sanders. T. W. Popular Hardy Perennials. Collingridge (1926-00-00)

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

    Facts about "Asclepias syriaca"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyAsclepiadaceae +
    Belongs to genusAsclepias +
    Has binomial nameAsclepias syriaca +
    Has common nameCommon Milkweed +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partFlowers +, Unknown part +, Leaves +, Seed + and Seedpod +
    Has edible useUnknown use +, Gum +, Oil + and Sweetener +
    Has fertility typeBees +, Insects + and Lepidoptera +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has hardiness zone3 +
    Has imageMilkweed in Bloom.jpg +
    Has lifecycle typePerennial +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material useAdhesive +, Fibre +, Latex +, Oil +, Pollution +, Stuffing + and Wick +
    Has mature height1 +
    Has mature width1 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useAnodyne +, Contraceptive +, Diaphoretic +, Diuretic +, Emetic +, Expectorant +, Homeopathy +, Purgative + and Warts +
    Has primary imageMilkweed in Bloom.jpg +
    Has search nameasclepias syriaca + and common 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 syriaca +
    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 +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca +, Asclepias syriaca + and Asclepias syriaca +