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Content tagged with "milkweed"

Photo of prairie milkweed plant in flower.

Prairie Milkweed (Tall Green Milkweed)

Prairie milkweed’s full, rounded clusters of small, delicately purple-tinged flowers set it apart from other prairie milkweeds.

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Photo of prairie milkweed plant in flower.

Prairie Milkweed (Tall Green Milkweed)

Prairie milkweed is scattered mostly in the northwestern two-thirds of the state. It’s mostly absent from the Ozarks and Bootheel.

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Photo of prairie milkweed plant in flower.

Prairie Milkweed (Tall Green Milkweed)

Prairie milkweed occurs in bottomland and upland prairies and glades as well as pastures, roadsides, and railroads.

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Photo of prairie milkweed plant in flower.

Prairie Milkweed (Tall Green Milkweed)

Asclepias hirtella
Prairie milkweed’s full, rounded clusters of small, delicately purple-tinged flowers set it apart from other prairie milkweeds.

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Photo of prairie milkweed, or tall green milkweed, fruits.

Prairie Milkweed (Tall Green Milkweed) (Fruits)

These are the fruits of prairie milkweed, or tall green milkweed, Asclepias hirtella. Like those of most other members of the milkweed tribe, the pod (technically, a follicle) contains numerous flattened seeds, each with its own little parachute of silky hairs, which allows them to float away in the breeze.

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Photo of purple milkweed flower cluster

Purple Milkweed

Asclepias purpurascens
The flowers of purple milkweed are pale purple to reddish purple to dark purple, with greenish or red tints. The scientific name means “becoming purple”: The flowers start off rather pale and become more intensely purplish as they mature.

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Photo of purple milkweed flower cluster

Purple Milkweed

The flowers of purple milkweed are pale purple to reddish purple to dark purple, with greenish or red tints. The scientific name means “becoming purple”: The flowers start off rather pale and become more intensely purplish as they mature.

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Photo of a red milkweed beetle eating a common milkweed leaf.

Red Milkweed Beetle

The red milkweed beetle (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus) specializes in eating milkweeds. The larvae bore into the roots; the adults chew the foliage and leaves. The bright red is a warning: Like other insects that eat milkweeds, this beetle ingests milkweed’s toxic chemicals and becomes unpalatable or sickening to predators. “Tetraopes” means “four-eyed,” and beetles in this genus are sometimes called “four-eyed beetles.” Each eye is divided by an antenna base, making it look like two. A similar species is the red-femured milkweed borer (T. femoratus), whose antennae are black with white rings (not all black), legs are partially reddish (not all black), and commonly has smaller black dots. Look for these milkweed beetles in prairies and roadsides where milkweeds are abundant.

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Photo of sand vine, leaves with flower cluster.

Sand Vine (Climbing Milkweed; Blue Vine)

Beloved by bees, butterflies, and other insects for its nectar, sand vine is a problem weed of crop fields and gardens, where it can be difficult to eradicate. Some people cultivate it as an ornamental, and beekeepers value it as an excellent honey plant.

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Photo of sand vine covering a bush.

Sand Vine (Climbing Milkweed; Blue Vine)

Sand vine is a perennial, vigorous, aggressive climbing vine with stems that can reach lengths of 33 feet, covering fences and shrubs.

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