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 Seeds and Seeding Questions

Spreading bluebonnets in pasture from Ledbetter TX
April 29, 2013 - I've found a small patch of bluebonnets in my back pasture in Ledbetter, tx. What is the best method of encouraging their spread across the pasture? I've heard that one can pull up the plants and ...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in Santaquin UT
August 11, 2009 - I have a hill in my backyard; it is about 40 ft tall and about 80 ft wide. It is probably a 1.5 to 1 slope ratio. I am going to be landscaping my back yard and have top soil put on the hill as well. S...
view the full question and answer

Mountain ash seedlings in Yorkshire, England
May 25, 2008 - Is there any way I can stop Mountain Ash from seeding in my garden. This year in particular, I am absolutely overrun with the seedlings and once they get a hold they are difficult to remove.
view the full question and answer

Butterfly plants from Austin TX
December 17, 2012 - I have a butterfly garden in the front part of the house facing the south side. However it is also mostly under a few Oak trees that cast shadow over half of the front yard starting early afternoon. ...
view the full question and answer

Agarita and Mexican Buckeye not flowering or fruiting.
December 11, 2012 - The Greenbelt behind our home has a ton of agarita and Mexican buckeye, but they never bloom or berry. The pigeon berry is very happily doing both all year. Any suggestions for helping the agerita a...
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