Thursday, June 28, 2007


I’ve recently been intrigued by milkweed also known as Asclepias. While it grows as its name as a weed implies, as I’ve watched it go through its stages of growth, I see that it is a very utilitarian plant to the environment around it. Most namely, bees and butterflies relish in this plant as a food and shelter source. The white pinkish flowers that bud on this “weed”, are in small bunches and provide ample opportunity for feeding bees. The particular variety of milk weed plant that I’ve observed started out of the ground and is now at least 4 feet in height. It seems to take over the area that it proliferates, and seems to steal sunlight and nutrients from others, but still allows plants such as coriander and fennel to grow. The leaves on the milk weed are very large, and it reminds me of the way grape leaves attempt to cover as much surface area as possible in order to absorb as much sunlight as possible. In any event, while some call this a weed, it seems to contribute much to the local ecosystem, is native to most of its environs, and grows so fast that it fascinates. I can’t wait until the pods come out and the butterfly cocoons hatch.


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