En EspaÑol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Heirloom plants for Gault Homestead in Austin
April 15, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, The Gault Homestead at 2106 Klattenhoff in the middle of Wells Branch Subdivision is to be planted with heirloom or heritage plants soon. There is some sun for the planter bo...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for southwest side of house in Birmingham, AL
April 18, 2009 - I would like to know what I can plant on the southwest side of my house where there is a brick foundation and is really hot in the summer. I've tried irises and day lilies-not good. Suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Non-native citronella mosquito plant wintering inside in Charlotte NC
October 20, 2011 - Can I bring the citronella mosquito plant in the house over the winter, or should it be planted outside. I live in Charlotte, NC.
view the full question and answer

Plant Suggestions for Shady Site under Trees in Alabama
April 03, 2014 - I live in Montgomery, AL and have a bare area (20' x 5’) that's shady and soil erosion is a problem. Grass stops growing at the drip line of the trees here. Do you have any suggestions for growing s...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance, low growing native plants
August 21, 2007 - Mr. Smarty Plants, Could you recommend several low growing easy to maintain plants for planting next to our house. The area for the plants is next to the house(white stone) in between the house and t...
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