Exploring Fabius Township and St. Joseph County, Michigan, with side trips all over this Great Lakes state

Thursday, March 25, 2010


As a result of Willow's wanderings in the milkweed patch in the meadow, the two of us discovered the wonderful inside from one of the empty pods still standing.  Its form is so interesting, the soft white silk and the hard brown seeds which remind me of a cone from an evergreen.  How I wish I had studied a little more biology rather than running from any biology course after the mandatory frog dissection in high school!
In trying to learn more about this plant that I associate with attracting Monarch butterflies, I found an article from the Christian Science Monitor, October, 2008, entitled The Heroic Milkweed.  During World War II even children were involved in collecting the milkweed floss for use as a substitute for kapok in life jackets.  Japanese control of Java had cut off the supply.  And the fairgrounds in Petoskey, Michigan, became a drying and processing site for the silky floss.  Read more: http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Gardening/2008/1026/the-heroic-milkweed

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