Asclepias verticillata WHORLED Milkweed Seeds -(,Attracts Butterflies Honeybees, bumblebees, and Leaf-Cutting Bees.White Flowers
Asclepias verticillata (Whorled Milkweed) has very skinny, "whorled" leaves. There are clusters of approximately 20 flowers near the top of each plant. Whorled Milkweed can bloom anytime between July and September, which is later in the year than many other Milkweeds. The white flowers can be a greenish-white on some plants. When the Whorled Milkweed is mature it reaches a height around 2'. The nectar of the flowers attracts many kinds of insects, including long-tongued bees, short-tongued bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, skippers and beetles. Whorled Milkweed is deer and rabbit-resistant.
Sowing: In late fall, direct sow just below the surface. Germination will take place in the spring, after the last frost. When the seedlings appear, thin to the strongest plant; seedlings usually do not survive transplanting, since they resent any disturbance of their roots. For spring planting, mix the seeds with moist sand and refrigerate for 30 days before direct sowing.
Growing: Young plants should be watered until they become established; mature plants can tolerate drought but grow best with occasional watering. This plant spreads rapidly, but volunteer plants can easily be removed if unwanted. It will also self seed. The flowers attract many bees and butterflies. Deer and rabbits avoid this plant. Whorled milkweed is highly toxic to horses and cattle.
Harvesting: This makes a striking cut flower. Cut the stems long, choosing flowers that have just opened. Keep in mind that the milky sap is mildly toxic and can irritate the skin.
Seed Saving: After the plant finishes flowering, 3-4" narrow pods will form. Be sure to harvest the pods before they split and the silky fluff carries the seeds away on the wind. As soon as the seeds inside the pod ripen to their mature brown color, remove the pods and spread them out to dry. Split open the pods and take out the silky seed material. Remove the fluff from the seeds. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place.