En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Milkweed with the biggest pods in Smith County, TX?

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
6 ratings

Friday - September 11, 2009

From: Whitehouse, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Milkweed with the biggest pods in Smith County, TX?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in East Texas and I would like to know which of the milkweed plants bears the largest seed pod. I would also like to know the best time to locate the pods in and around the Smith County area.

ANSWER:

Texas is rich in milkweeds, Asclepias spp.  Of the 75 species of milkweeds that occur in the US, more than half (42) can be found in Texas.  At least 10 native milkweed species occur in and around Smith County, in east Texas' Pineywoods ecoregion. 

Asclepias amplexicaulis (clasping milkweed) bears follicles (seed pods) 10-16 cm long and 1-2 cm in diameter in the summer.  Asclepias asperula (spider milkweed) bears follicles 4-13 cm long, 1-2.5 cm in diameter from spring through summer.  Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed) produces follicles 7-9 cm long, 1.2 cm in diameter in summer and fall.  Asclepias obovata (pineland milkweed) has seed pods to 12 cm or more in length from early summer to early fall.  Asclepias rubra (red milkweed) bears follicles 8-12 cm long and 1-1/2 cm in diameter in summer.  Asclepias stenophylla (slimleaf milkweed) produces seed pods 9-12 cm long in summer.  Asclepias tomentosa (tuba milkweed) forms follicles 10-12 cm long in late summer and fall.  Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed) makes seed pods 8-15 cm long and 1 to 1-1/2 cm in diameter from spring til autumn.  Asclepias verticillata (whorled milkweed) bears follicles 7-10 cm long and 5-8 mm in diameter from spring until early fall.  Finally, Asclepias viridis (green antelopehorn) produces follicles 6-13 cm in length and 2-3 cm in diameter from spring through early fall.

So Asclepias amplexicaulis may make the champion milkweed pods in your area based on length.  If you factor in girth to find the most massive milkweed follicle, then Asclepias viridis my win by a nose.

Not every species listed here necessarily occurs in Smith County.  However, they have all been collected no farther away than one of the counties adjacent to yours.  So, if conditions are favorable, you might expect to find any of them there.

 

More Herbs/Forbs Questions

Will native Galium aparine be a problem in Austin garden?
March 25, 2014 - Should I be concerned that my yard is overrun with "sticky weed" (Galium aparine) in the early spring? Specifically, about five years ago I undertook converting about half my back yard into a na...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance replacement garden in Ashburn , VA
April 30, 2009 - We live in Ashburn, VA (Northern VA). Our house is 10 years old and the contractor grade plants have died. We are planning on digging everything up and re-doing the landscaping in our front yard - r...
view the full question and answer

Where can white prickly poppy be viewed en mass from Baton Rouge LA?
January 16, 2013 - Does the center feature the native White Prickly Poppy? When is prime blooming season? Can you give me some specific locations in the area where the plant can be seen en mass and photographed? Thank...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for hanging baskets in Abilene
June 10, 2008 - I live in the DRY West Texas heat in Abilene. I'd like to put some hanging plants along my back fence. Preferably something that would attract butterflies. We have a pool in our back yard and almost ...
view the full question and answer

Reproducing Echinacea 'Sunbeam' from Powthan VA
August 03, 2011 - I would like to reproduce a flowering plant- Sundown echinacea. I have a plant now. Can you give me info on how to do it? thanks so much.
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center