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Mr. Smarty Plants - Sources for seed of Utah native Asclepias labriformis

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Sunday - January 08, 2006

From: Salt Lake City, UT
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Sources for seed of Utah native Asclepias labriformis
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi there, I am looking for seeds of the plant "Asclepias labriformis" which is native to Utah. Can you help me to find seeds from this plant?

ANSWER:

You can search by state or region for nurseries or seed companies that specialize in native plants for your area in the National Suppliers Directory on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center web page. Since, according to the USDA Plants Database, the distribution for Asclepias labriformis (Utah or Labriform Milkweed) is restricted to Utah, I looked at seed companies and nurseries only in Utah and found the following:

1) Great Basin Natives in Holden, Utah has Asclepias asperula, Spider Milkweed.
2) Granite Seed Company in Lehi, Utah offers A. tuberosa, Butterfly Milkweed.
3) Stevenson Intermountain Seed, Inc. in Ephraim, Utah also lists A. tuberosa.

The Utah Native Plant Society web page also has a list of native plant suppliers, as does the Utah's Choice—Native Plants for Intermountain Landscapes web page. Utah's Choice is sponsored by the Intermountain Native Plant Growers Association. From the Utah's Choice web page "Participating Nurseries", Willard Bay Gardens in Willard, Utah has A. incarnata, Swamp Milkweed, as well as A. tuberosa. I only tried the suppliers with web page listings. There were others with telephone and/or e-mail contact information. You might try contacting these other suppliers. Better yet, you might contact the Intermountain Native Plant Growers Association and/or the Utah Native Plant Society for help in finding seeds for A. labriformis.

Alternatively, or additionally, if you know of a stand of the plants, you might contact the landowner for permission to collect seeds. The species is not endangered or threatened. In fact, it is on the U.S. Invasive Weeds list. Its listing comes from: T. D. Whitson et al., ed. 1996. "Weeds of the West". Western Society of Weed Science in cooperation with Cooperative Extension Services, University of Wyoming. Laramie, Wyoming. It is listed, most probably, because of its toxicity. From "Weeds of the West", pp. 36-37: "Labriform milkweed is a native species considered to be one of the most poisonous of all western milkweeds. As little as one ounce of green leaf material from this species can kill an adult sheep." Its toxicity may also be one reason you are having trouble finding seeds.
 

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