red flannel pantry

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

milkweed is blooming

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I planted white swamp milkweed (var. Ice Ballet) in my garden a couple of years ago. Last year it was all foliage, no blooms. This year my patience has been rewarded–its beautiful clusters of white flowers have the most delicious vanilla scent.

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This mallow (I think the variety is called Zebrina) comes back year after year despite it being a favorite treat of the rabbits.

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After I admired the tall verbena in my friend Anne’s garden, she gave me a division last year. It blooms all summer into fall. Although this clump overwintered for me, I believe it is considered an annual here, though it self-seeds readily.

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3 thoughts on “milkweed is blooming

  1. I was not aware of the beauty of the milkweed plant. Also there are several plants that go by this common name and once I googled it, learned that is is an Asclepias. I thought the structure of the flower looked very familiar. We have the orange variety in our yard that the Monarch butterflies like so much. Well, actually the Monarch caterpillars. Anyway, the orange ones don’t make the pods so I didn’t recognize it as being in the milkweed family. Interesting. Do the Monarchs like this white variety also? Going to have to get this plant.

    • I am hoping the monarchs like it–I haven’t seen any yet, have you? This variety is blooming much earlier than the more common pink swamp milkweed in my garden. I found this white variety at Garden Heights Nursery in Maplewood on Big Bend–I love that place!

  2. I have always known that Monarchs liked Asclepias, after all, another common name for it is butterfly weed. One year I was horrified to see an army of caterpillars eating it up. I very gently took all the fat white, black and yellow striped caterpillars off the plants and put them down in the dirt underneath. “Bad caterpillars, thou shalt not eat up the butterfly weed before the butterflies can get to it.” Hah, stupid me. Those were the Monarch butterfly caterpillars. Duh! So look for those. I always thought it was the adult insect that liked the plant, not the caterpillars!

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