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Old 03-31-2012, 09:59 AM   #21
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At Bartel Grassland, we have 5 species, 3 of them in very large numbers: Asclepias syriaca, incarnata and verticillata, with A. sullivantii in smaller numbers and a very few A. tuberosa. In other nearby preserves, we add A. purpurascens, viridiflora, hirtella and amplexicaulis. So local preserves here are great places for Monarch butterflies.Milkweeds are a favorite of mine, and their flowers make excellent macro photography subjects. I photographed some Purple Milkweed a couple years ago and inadvertently included a Monarch caterpillar in the photo that I didn't see when I was taking the photos, so that was a nice little surprise when I looked at the photos at home.

If you want seed for Purple Milkweed seed, Prairie Moon normally carries it, but I see they're currently out of it. Purple Milkweed is one of my favorites, a really attractive species, but it seems to be a temporary species, and moves around a lot. It seems to like edges between grassland and woods the best.

Prairie Moon carries seed for several other species of Asclepias (tons of other things too) so check them out.

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Old 04-01-2012, 09:04 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by GonativeAlex View Post
Common milkweed isn't garden worthy because it'll invade the other plants forming massive stands. I cant plant it anyway, have a hard time getting it to grow from seed and I haven't the heart to dig it from the wild.
Common milkweed isn't a good plant to put in a garden with other ornamental plants, but if you have an area that you keep natural, it is the perfect fit! We have a part of John's yard that we call 'The Wilds'. We have been putting several varieties of milkweeds in there in addition to goldenrod, asters and others.

I don't have any problem digging up common milkweed from the wild. A wooded lot near my school used to be one of my favorite places to cut fresh milkweed leaves on my way to school. Last fall I stopped to get food for my larvae and found the entire lot was clear cut. I wished I had gotten those plants before they had been destroyed.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:35 PM   #23
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Its kinda hard to do it though, deep root systems, believe me I've tried to dig up common milkweed and most of the time it died ( note "the wild" was my dads backyard and he wanted it pulled up anyway)
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:53 PM   #24
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It's probably those deep roots that most milkweeds have that make it so hard. The A. texana can be transplanted easily if you're careful...the roots are different, less deep. With most kinds, it's best to find a really young plant and dig carefully...then give it much TLC.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:58 PM   #25
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Its kinda hard to do it though, deep root systems, believe me I've tried to dig up common milkweed and most of the time it died ( note "the wild" was my dads backyard and he wanted it pulled up anyway)
I have been told (at a class on milkweed) that you can dig up at least 1' of the root to transplant in the spring time. This is best done before the plant has started sending up shoots but certainly can be done even with 6" of growth already. What often happens, is the plant will go dormant for the year! They focus on root production only and skip the green growth part until triggered next year. Much of this root growth is focused on regrowing the tap root. With no green growth to judge from this makes knowing if you should water or not tricky at best.

That said I am eagerly awaiting to find out if that's true. I planted 3 purple milkweeds last year. They arrived in the mail in 4" pots and already had green shoots growing, which was very early in the year. When I planted them, only 1 of them kept green growth for the year. The other two went dormant. This year I'm hoping that all three come back.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:37 PM   #26
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I find the monarchs don't like to lay their eggs on tuberosa as much as some of the others.
Maybe because they haven't much choice, I've been lucky enough to have two or three larvae on my A. tuberosa since putting them in.

I have, however, added the common milkweed and one A. incarnata that I had been growing in a pot. A few weeks ago, I planted a LOT of seeds of both the butterflyweed and the swamp milkweed that a friend sent me from a Pennsylvania source...so, they should have a lot to choose from before too long. Right now they are just starting to germinate.

I'd like to look for other species of milkweed to add as well. It would be interesting to have plenty of several species so I could see which plants they prefer.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:45 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by bridget1964 View Post
I don't have any problem digging up common milkweed from the wild. A wooded lot near my school used to be one of my favorite places to cut fresh milkweed leaves on my way to school. Last fall I stopped to get food for my larvae and found the entire lot was clear cut. I wished I had gotten those plants before they had been destroyed.
I've often thought the same about natives growing on the shoulder of a road...too often I've walked by some beautiful plants for years only to find that those plants I enjoyed were scraped off or paved over.

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Originally Posted by GonativeAlex View Post
Its kinda hard to do it though, deep root systems, believe me I've tried to dig up common milkweed and most of the time it died ( note "the wild" was my dads backyard and he wanted it pulled up anyway)
I dug one up from a friends vegetable garden the other year--she was going to spade the whole area. Some of it seemed to survive last year, so I'm hoping to find it growing more robustly this year....
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I have been told (at a class on milkweed) that you can dig up at least 1' of the root to transplant...often happens, is the plant will go dormant for the year! They focus on root production only and skip the green growth part until triggered next year. Much of this root growth is focused on regrowing the tap root.
...I hope you are right, Mr.ILTA.

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That said I am eagerly awaiting to find out if that's true. I planted 3 purple milkweeds last year. They arrived in the mail in 4" pots and already had green shoots growing, which was very early in the year. When I planted them, only 1 of them kept green growth for the year. The other two went dormant. This year I'm hoping that all three come back.
Good luck with that. Keep us posted (especially if it is good news).
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:50 PM   #28
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I have a hundred Asclepias asperulas in the front field. I think they are garden worthy...
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Originally Posted by bridget1964 View Post
Common milkweed isn't a good plant to put in a garden with other ornamental plants, but if you have an area that you keep natural, it is the perfect fit! We have a part of John's yard that we call 'The Wilds'. We have been putting several varieties of milkweeds in there in addition to goldenrod, asters and others.

I'm lucky enough to have the space to put them in a natural "wild" area and enjoy them there--assuming they grow and colonize for me (and hopefully I don't feel that they over do the colonizing. ). I bet I'll be fine with it...and if not, seeing tons of monarch larvae on them would probably convince me that they are fine.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:52 PM   #29
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Thanks for the reminder MILTA! I just went and bought some Purple Milkweed from them, and a few other plants just happened to fall into my cart while shopping. Ooops!!!
Hmmm... are you saying you are a "klepto" or just an impulse shopper?
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:55 PM   #30
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Poor ole farts asked me again, if I could see them. I hadn't the heart to tell them they were just seed pods they were looking at so I just agreed and said all excitedly YES! All kinds of THEM and there's sooooo many! They both gave me the broadest smiles having thought they had really helped me out. I hadn't lied, I really could see THEM it just wasn't their THEM then.
Aww.

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amplexicaulis, asclepias, asclepias purpurascens, asclepias tuberosa, butterflies, butterfly, hirtella, locally, milk weed varieties, milkweed, milkweeds, monarch, monarchs, native, plant, purpurascens, tuberosa, varity, viridiflora

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