Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mulling over Milkweed

Milkweed pods, exploding on a sunny Fall day. Here are a few fun facts about milkweed plants from Wikipedia:

"The milkweed filaments from the follicles are hollow and coated with wax, and have good insulation qualities. During World War II, over 5,500 short tons of milkweed floss were collected in the United States as a substitute for kapok. As of 2007, milkweed is grown commercially as a hypoallergenic filling for pillows."

"Being the sole food source of monarch butterfly larvae, the plant is often used in butterfly gardens."  

"Milkweed also contains cardiac glycoside poisons. As a result, many natives of South America and Africa used arrows poisoned with these glycosides for fighting and hunting."

These facts made me wonder if growing milkweed could be a lucrative business, and yes it is, according to Farm Show magazine
As you mull over the exciting prospects of becoming a milkweed farmer, have a good week....


Anonymous said...

nature, hopefully
will forgive this

flighty diversion. Milk
weed filaments bring to mind

cotton candy tasting
faint vanilla on a board

walk Atlantic City
1960 when in a coloring

book first colored
monarch butterfly amber

streaking chalk white never
having seen one. Second

nature now to know it by
its flight thru tangled star

light ivory

altadenahiker said...

So I have a pillow filled with cardiac glycoside poisons? Well, that explains a lot.

dive said...

I'm right with Anon on the temps perdu flashback. Beautiful words as ever, to go with Ms.M's perfect pictures. Those things were just made to be backlit.

Petrea Burchard said...

Lovely photos! Really, truly lovely. They bring back memories of my northern Illinois childhood.

Ms M said...

Anon, I'm with Dive on your temps perdu flashback. Wonderful the way you put words together xxooxxoo

Hiker: I was also taken aback at the thought of what may be inside my pillow. Maybe this explains my dreams....

Thank you, Dive. It was a perfect day to photograph them. I like how Anon's words fit so well with the photos.

Thank you, Petrea. I remember them from my childhood in the Midwest, too. The pods always fascinated me.

Margaret said...

looks so fluffy.

Ms M said...

Hi Margaret. It does look fluffy. Perfect for pillows, they say. Although I also relate to what Karin said ;-)

sonia a. mascaro said...

So beautiful photos of milkweed pods exploding!
It's amazing that this plant has poisons...