I come to the conclusion that weeds are just a figment of the imagination. There’s only two types of plants.
1. Those that we know how to use.
2. And those that we don’t know what to do with.
Milkweed actually touches both ends of the scale. It’sgenerally considered a weed because it’s toxic to people, pets and livestock. And while it’s no longer used for its industrial purposes it was considered to be a cash crop at one time. Prior to the development of modern life jackets a sailor’s life may have depended on this underappreciated plant. That was because the seed pods were once used to make tge fillings of life jackets.
Today we recognize the Milkweed as an important host for the Monarch Butterfly. The catipiller feeds exclusively on Milkweed. Special organs in the Monarch Butterfly store the toxins making the Monarch poison to predators. Without the Milkweed there would be no Monarch Butterflies.
Those beautiful butterflies that we find visiting a variety of flowers would starve to death without the Milkweed.
I remember when I was a kid how much fun it was to sew Milkweed. The seeds are similar to dandelion in that they’re spread by the wind. My brother and I would break open the pods once they were dry and pretend that they paratroopers landing on D-day. Sure enough that the next Spring new plants would pop up wherever we played. Fortnite might be fancier than the old games but you don’t get Monarchs at the end of Fortnite.
This Fall when you see those dry pods breaking open go ahead and scatter the fluffy seeds inside. Sooner or later you’ll have Monarchs as well as a few others.
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