Asclepias tuberosa has been pollinated, ovaries satisfied, seeds almost ready to be dispersed in the wind held aloft on silky umbrellas that float immune to gravity for hundreds of feet, if not thousands of feet.
Each of these pods contain hundreds of seeds that easily turn into these durable milkweed plants. Monarch butterflies get their bird immunity from these plants. The butterflies eat this plant and in doing so attain large amounts of toxic compounds that birds somehow recognize.
”Eat this butterfly, and I will DIE,” birds think when they see a monarch butterfly.
Every pathogen of Asclepias is immune to carnivorous predators. Somehow, pathogens know not to eat any insect colored to warn them. It is the result of millions of years of evolution.
I am an environmentalist, for sure.
Im so crazy overboard that I give these pods away and tell people to disperse them. I put hundreds into the bed of my truck and as they dry and crack open, the seeds fly all along every highway I drive on.
I just can’t help but feel that my craziness has resulted in thousands of new Asclepias plants next to highways from North Carolina to Maine.
People like me do things like that to save species without knowing if it has any impact on populations of endangered species, which the monarch butterfly is.
I will do what I can. If you want some pods, come to the nursery, they are free for anyone!!!
And here is an interesting article from across the continent: