Just before passing Lake Shore Drive on my bike, I noticed a patch of restored land I’ve never worked on with the Park District. Learn more about milkweed species and characteristics in this article. It is in the same plant family as milkweed. Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on just one type of plant, and that’s milkweed (genus Asclepias).  Like many medicinal plants, it is said to have specific action on the lungs–but reports are vague, and I could find little evidence of how exactly people use it for lung afflictions. Swamp milkweed can be easily distinguished from other milkweeds with pink flowers by its long narrow leaves. The larvae of blue milkweed beetles are known to be obligate root feeders on milkweed and dogbane.  I’ve read of people changing water 4-5 times with smaller boiling intervals. I finished my second dogbane bowstring the other week. Habit: Flower: Leaf: Flowers July to August. The stalks of the plants look more like tropical milkweed.  But eating plants does allow us to get to know them more intimately, and milkweed is a tender, relatively worthwhile forage.  This is not my favorite textural experience, but seems like standard method for many wild foods. There are several videos on youtube about this. Milkweeds are found throughout North and South America, and several are cultivated as ornamentals.  It is commonly found as a roadside weed, but doesn’t reseed as easily as common milkweed. P.O. It is easy to distinguish from common milkweed and Sullivant's milkweed, but it does resemble butterfly weed quite a bit. They have no clue what happened.…  But I question to what degree. As the plant matures it will have more branching in comparison to common milkweed and the flowers are very different. Milkweed has hollow stems and dogbane has solid stems (thank you Jodi and Linda for these tips). Confusing plant look-alikes: Milkweed and Dogbane - YouTube Views: 4421, Replies: 18 » Jump to the end. Locate common milkweed stands for seed pod collection beside roadways, in pastures, meadows, along railroad tracks, bike paths, highway medians, agricultural field margins, vacant land, cultivated Your plant has green stems, so I suspect it is milkweed, not dogbane. Solid, dogbane.  I’ve read that swamp milkweed can be used much in the same way as common milkweed, but I’ve never used it, and don’t recommend it–I could be wrong, but it seems to be getting more and more scarce.  I would be sure not to separate the seeds after taking them out of the pod–this is worth repeating, because remember, if you separate all of the seeds at first, you’ll be defluffing hundreds of individual seeds. This free-flowering native milkweed usually only grows 12-24 inches tall, continually sending up stalks topped with white blooms that often have a pink blush. The flowers resemble milkweed in this species of dogbane but it is not the exact same flowers. Many people (including entomologists) have mistakenly given dogbane to their caterpillars only to watch them starve to death. All parts of milkweed will ooze a white, milky latex when cut. Asclepias syriaca, commonly called common milkweed, butterfly flower, silkweed, silky swallow-wort, and Virginia silkweed, is a species of flowering plant.It is in the genus Asclepias, the milkweeds.This species is native to southern Canada and of much of the conterminous eastern U.S., east of the Rocky Mountains, excluding the drier parts of the prairies. Brightly colored swamp milkweed leaf beetles (Labidomera clivicollis, family Chrysomelidae) are one of my favorites; partly because they are somewhat rare.   Dogbane has more of a reddish stem when mature and develops many branches. See pictures and descriptions in this brochure. Sap milky latex. Small Milkweed Bug (Lygaeus kalmii) nymphs on Indian Hemp Dogbanes even have a beetle named after them, the Dogbane Beetle ( Chrysochus auratus ). It was a cold day at the beach. Dogbane will also branch out, milkweed does not. The Pink Swamp Milkweed, being a milkweed, is important support for the Monarch butterflies But it is also a stunning perennial wildlfower and therefore deserving of a place in the perennial border. I have been able to positively identify dogbane, growing near Lake Monona, in Yahara Park, located here in Madison, Wisconsin. Stems smooth, tall, flexible, branching.   As far as I can see, the most common is apocynum cannabinum; Apocynum means “away dog!” and cannabinum means “like hemp” because of its use in making cording.  Interestingly butterfly milkweed does not produce a milky sap, either. I've made all of 3 strings, and the Swamp Milkweed is kicking my arse.....might oughta just listen to Holiday, Im liable to get ya hurt.  To be honest, any plant that’s been boiled several minutes will taste somewhat bland and mushy. Box 444 Twinsburg, OH 44087.  Upon noticing a couple of tiny milkweeds, I was reminded of what limited time I have to enjoy the shoots and leaves of this plant. The leaves look like a cross between swamp milkweed and tropical milkweed, but with deeper veins. Brown-belted bumble bees seem to love common milkweed.  According to “Wildman” Steve Brill, the young upper leaves are only edible through mid to late spring. And then there are the seed pods. I have read that butterfly milkweed is poisonous and emetic–that’s enough to keep me from eating it! And milkweed is thicker, stouter, bigger leaves. The stems of dogbane tend to be smooth, whereas milkweed generally has a hairy texture to the stem. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. Unfortunately, milkweed often has a bad reputation.  There are other varieties of asclepias, including swamp milkweed, asclepius incarnata, and butterfly milkweed, asclepius tuberosa. Strain, and be sure to press out all remaining liquid. Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnata Found in all kinds of wet and swampy ground.  Dogbane is a native plant that likes to grow in similar areas as milkweed. Phone: (330) 963-6243. Even though it is found in wet meadows and swamp margins, it is also happy in a well drained upland garden soil in […] [1] Some of these species are exotics (not native to Montana) [2] and some species have been designated as Species of Concern . Despite their common name, both the adults and larvae feed on the leaves of several members of the dogbane family.  Plus as the name implies, it is weedy.  Only during the spring before flower buds form can milkweed be mistaken for its mildly poisonous neighbor, dogbane. Notice the opposite leaf pattern and symmetry of asclepias syriaca, Common Milkweed. milkweed to avoid harvesting pods from similar plants such as hemp dogbane and swamp milkweed. Name: Brenden Reinhart Flushing Michigan (Zone 6b) bhart90 Jun 1, 2016 8:41 PM CST. Dogbane makes skinny ones, some look like string beans. However, the stems will have a reddish tint, that is not hard to see.  Prairie plants like fire, right? I make a point not to eat much milkweed, since it’s a native plant that attracts pollinators and Monarchs. Email : CONTACT US.  When identifying the young plant, it may be helpful to use a magnifying glass to inspect stem for tiny hairs. Helps to see it.  Before defulffing, or pulling the fluff from the seed, store seeds in an open cardboard box lined with newspaper, and keep in a dry place. Butterfly milkweed is orange, with very similar flowers to common milkweed.  It prefers dry soil. It grows easily in a home garden with average to moist soil—it is nearly exploding in my own back yard in heavy clay soil. General Information Email : [email protected] JOIN OUR NEWS LETTER.  Once the plant gets larger than seen in the photo below, its flowers and seedpods can be utilized. How Poisonous Is Milkweed to Humans?. Common milkweed flowers are pinkish, large and ball shaped, whereas dogbane flowers are whitish green and in … Host Plants, Milkweeds, Nectar Plants.  A warm infusion of the root extract can be applied as a warm poultice to burns, skin ulcers, and wounds. Clasping-leaf dogbane, Apocynum cannabinum There are at least 28 members of the dogbane, gentian and milkweed order, Gentianales , found in Montana . It has milky sap, and the leaves look a lot like milkweed leaves.  There are a few varieties of apocynum, or dogbane, and all are poisonous. Milkweed plants (asclepias) are bigger than dogbane and their leaves are broader.  As storm clouds rolled in overhead, I rolled out. Some species of dogbane grows flowers that closely resemble milkweed flowers.  By this point, the milkweed will be like a wad of mush. Leaves: Mostly opposite, ascending to spreading, lanceolate, 1.2 to 6 inches long, 1/5 to 1.8 inches wide, thin, pliable, sparsely hairy on … A Dogbane has opposite oblong leaves 4" long and white sap, Dogbane later develops branches off the main stalk and a Milkweed does not. Female blue milkweed beetles are polyandrous, meaning they mate with multiple partners.  The plant is commonly called Indian Hemp.  After positively identifying this plant, it’s generally it’s good to start off by eating just small amounts of the cooked plant. Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum) is a North American native plant found throughout the continental United States and southern Canada.It is commonly found in wooded areas along the banks of lakes and streams. In this video, I help you discern between common milkweed and dogbane. The flowers also look quite different. Swampostor! Planting Time: Milkweed plants can be planted in spring or fall.  You will want to remove the white fluff from the seeds to increase chance of germination. Dogbane is a plant that greatly resembles milkweed.  More advanced foragers note that the customary double boiling process is unnecessary, but I always double boil milkweed. Dogbane and milkweed are placed within the same family of plants (the dogbane family — Apocynaceae), and both plants share similar features. Asclepias perennis.  Then store seeds in the refrigerator over the winter in airtight plastic bags, or plant immediately in the fall. One blue milkweed beetle earned an honorable mention in the University of Florida Book of Insect Records for this behavior. But the big one here, cut the stem.  In general, boiling eliminates bitter alkaloids, cardiac glycosides, and its sappy latex. Swamp milkweed is a perennial herb.  Well, perhaps the fire strengthens the seeds. Only during the spring before flower buds form can milkweed be mistaken for its mildly poisonous neighbor, dogbane.  Here comes the tricky part: when I worked in the Natural Areas department of the Park District, we would burn the fluff with a lighter. Milkweed's big balls of dusky pink blossoms and compared to the tiny white to pink flowers of dogbane, the Dogbane is not a showy plant. a couple of small common milkweed plants, left. Since the protection offered by sequestering these chemicals in parts of their bodies is the reason Monarchs have evolved to specialize on Milkweeds, maybe they can evolve to use dogbanes, too. Native Americans used the fibers inside the stems to make string, thread, rope, baskets, snares, netting, and clothing. Milkweed species in the genus Asclepias contain cardiac glycosides that are poisonous to humans, but they pose the most danger to … Milkweeds love Michigan, and several butterfly milkweeds are lurking just beneath our field of vision, hidden here behind curtains of grass.  The unopened buds a lot like broccoli. Dogbane is another plant that people often mistake for milkweed, but its leaves bear a closer resemblance to common milkweed.  Be aware, and never eat a plant you can’t positively identify. Branching dogbane shoots, Apocynum cannabinum, are more slender than milkweed shoots, have a slightly red tinge, and are smooth, but also have opposite, oval shaped leaves that are slightly fuzzy. Butterfly milkweed have oblong, narrow leaves and fuzzy stems. Dogbane has more of a reddish stem when mature and develops many branches. A few sources (Natural History Museum; The Book of Swamp and Bog by John Eastman) say that Monarchs may use Spreading Dogbane as a caterpillar food plant. Dogbane also exudes a milky latex when cut.  I’ve never experienced any ill effects from milkweed. Dogbane has a dark stem, where milkweed TENDS to have pale green stems. Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners P.O. Unlike most herbs, it prefers wet locations.. Not Milkweed Flowers. And, simply because I love black and white plant photography: Besides looking really unique, this plant attracts interesting and colorful bugs including red milkweed beetle, western honey bees, and most famously, Monarch butterflies.  The people working here, the contractors, planted many grasses as well as the usual forbes. Twinsburg, OH 44087. [email protected], Example: Yes, I would like to receive emails from Tinkers Creek Watershed Partners.  It is considered a poisonous but suppodsedly an important medicinal plant when used topically. While awareness is rising around the… The Dogbane is also poisonous. Quest for fire.  Seems like a lot of work, bringing water to a boil over and over like that. The problem with dogbane is that Monarch and Queen caterpillars will not eat it. Milkweed, genus of about 140 species of herbaceous perennial plants in the dogbane family (Apocynaceae). Dogbane Swamp Common Milkweed Differences. Phone: (330) 963-6243. All Asclepias were formerly in family Asclepiadaceae but have been reassigned to Apocynaceae (Dogbane).  Both plants have oppositely-oriented leaves and bleed a white milky latex when cut.  It has bright pink leaves and looks similar, if not larger than the butterfly milkweed pictured below.  This would make quite a show, and was a fun way to spend an afternoon at work! When mature, the dogbane stem branches in the upper portion of the plant. A milkweed bark rots quickly. When in doubt, don’t eat common milkweed.  I’ve seen flower buds  just opening well into summer, but for the most part, the upright-positioned seed pods start to form early to mid-summer. Swamp Milkweed eventually matures to forms clumps up to 36" across. Common milkweed has green stems while dogbane has red stems. She is believed to have mated 60 times. Dogbane is a native plant that likes to grow in similar areas as milkweed. I can get over 12 feet of basswood inner bark but it's not close to the strength of dogbane or milkweed.  Both plants are weedy, but milkweed seems more familiar to me–although dogbane isn’t uncommon. The leaves are more “waxy” on the milkweed than the dogbane. You can plant them closer and then thin the plants as they grow in, or, plant Swamp Milkweed and its cultivars between 30” and 36” apart. Follow down to earth raw on WordPress.com, An Easy No-Rinse Cleanser You can Make in Minutes, In Case You’ve Ever Wished to Eat Hairspray. Email * Constant Contact Use.  Milkweed is poisonous raw and some people can react negatively even after eating the cooked plant. The flowers of dogbane form in flat clusters, where milkweed flowers form in ball shaped clusters. Dogbane is toxic, however, while common milkweed is edible. Do not eat butterfly milkweed.  Rather, take seeds out in a clump, and they’ll be all lined up and ready to be defluffed in groups. Photo Guide : Apocynum cannabinum (Indian Hemp Dogbane) This plant is frequently mistaken for milkweed because of its milky sap and general similarity to Asclepias syriaca, especially in early spring.Although Monarch larvae will take a few nibbles of Apocynum leaves, they are unable to continue feeding on the plant and invariably die.  Historically butterfly milkweed, also known as butterfly-weed, or Pleurisy Root has been considered medicinal–according to alternative medicine expert Karen Burgeron, perhaps the most valuable alternative medicine of all American species.  If you’d like to collect your own in the fall, simply take a seed pod and open–keeping seeds together–this is important, otherwise you will have to defluff a billion seeds. If it's hallow, you have milkweed. There is a slight reddish tinge to the vein that runs through the middle of the leaf, dividing it in two. Leaves of swamp milkweed are long, up to 8 inches long, but are also narrow, no more than 2 inches wide.  My coworker Whitney and I would line up the seeds in heart and star shapes and watch the fire run along the seeds like dominoes. Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners In the early spring newly growing plants of dogbane look almost identical to milkweed.  If you’ve boiled in a couple changes of water and the plant is bitter, you have the wrong plant! Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: Dogbane vs. Milkweed. Box 444  According to many sources, the leaves and stem are best eaten when just unfurling, or under 8 inches in height. White swamp milkweed. Small Milkweed Bug nymphs feed on dogbane seeds in addition to milkweeds, as well as the seeds of some other plants. (You can unsubscribe anytime), Akron Website Designers | Ohio Web Technologies, Natural Areas in Tinker’s Creek watershed, Maintaining Stormwater Control Measures Guidance for Private Owners & Operators, Business, Individual, and Family Membership, Dogbane Swamp Common Milkweed Differences.  I think if I was doing this on my own and didn’t need to plant a bajillion seeds over acres of land, I would do things more simply. Flowers mostly terminal (positioned at the tops of the stems), in many loose umbels (each rounded cluster arises from the same point); pink or rarely white, with a delicate fragrance.  I’ve noticed there tend to be a lot of “late bloomers” in the milkweed family, like those below.  I believe we have one here, dressed in a fuzzy vest!  Swamp milkweed is one of my favorite plants, though I haven’t seen much of it this year. Common milkweed has oppositely oriented, oval, slightly fuzzy leaves and unique little 5 petaled flowers that grow in radial clusters like pom-poms. Milkweed seeds are expensive.  Dogbane’s flowers look much different than milkweed, so any confusion would probably come in earlier stages of development. Stems: Erect, mostly solitary, simple to branced above, stout, glabrous or with lines of hairs extending downward from leaf bases. If you’ll be utilizing flowers or buds, inspect for tiny larvae. Mar 25, 2015 - Can you tell which plant is dogbane and which is milkweed? Differences: Common milkweed has a hairy stem, unlike dogbane. Have You Wondered What Milkweed Tastes Like? General Information Swamp Milkweed $ 6.00.  Begin by immersing in heavily boiling for 20 minutes, drain water, add new water and boil again for another 20 minutes. Eliminates bitter alkaloids, cardiac glycosides, and wounds the adults and larvae on. Is in the same plant family as milkweed, relatively worthwhile forage much different milkweed... Of milkweed will be like a cross between swamp milkweed are long, up to 8 in. 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