Just gets better!

A couple of weeks ago I was talking about volunteer plants, in particular this larger one which was growing at the front of one of my beds:


I loved it's large leaves and its strong upright habit, suspecting it was an Asclepias of some kind. Well, things have just gotten better!

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As you can see, this plant is in bloom!



These blooms allow me to confirm the ID as Asclepias syriaca or "common milkweed". It's written that it can spread by rhizomes -- I hope this transplants easily, as it's really not in the right spot for a colony to form.



It seems it will be blooming for quite a long time, which is exciting!


White fuzzy leaf undersides are a nice touch!

A couple of things I did not expect: first, that the blooms would be so pretty! Second, that they would smell so wonderful! Sweet, with some vanilla. Yummy!  The ants like them too:


There was no point in getting a shot of the entire plant since there's just a single bloom cluster open now, but in another few weeks this should be amazing!



It should also be covered in caterpillars, since this is a host plant for the monarch butterfly caterpillars.  I'm excited about that possibility, as I haven't had monarch caterpillars in my garden before (at least that I know of).  Get a good look at the unchewed leaves now, as they won't be lasting long I think.


For now though I'll just enjoy these wonderful blooms!


(Lots of exclamation points today!)

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Lisa  – (June 27, 2013 at 8:34 AM)  

Wow! Who knew plain old milkweed could be so lovely!

Gerhard Bock (Bamboo, Succulents and More)  – (June 27, 2013 at 10:32 AM)  

Beautiful. I've always wanted one of these. Mental note to plant a few this fall.

Kris Peterson  – (June 29, 2013 at 5:01 PM)  

Wow! I've been deliberating about ordering some milkweeds from a Northern California nursery that sent me an e-mail about them last week but I've been on the fence. I think your post may have pushed me toward "buy." (Sadly, there are no volunteers landing in my garden.)

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