Silent Sunday – Milkweed

Milkweed is the only larval host plant for the imperiled Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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102 Responses to Silent Sunday – Milkweed

  1. sandyjwhite says:

    Looks a bit surreal. Nice shot!

  2. Beautiful! They are preparing to take flight!!

  3. Anne says:

    I enjoy the tangled silkiness of these seeds.

  4. Dawn Minott says:

    So pretty!!!! Great shot Eliza.

  5. Chaotic beauty! Lovely composition, Eliza! There’s a pleasing resemblance to smoke wisps. I noticed a few still lingering in our garden yesterday.

  6. A wonderfully sinuous airy image

  7. Pingback: Silent Sunday – Milkweed | Purplerays

  8. Val Boyko says:

    Lovely capture💐🧡🍂

  9. Alice says:

    Wonderfully embraced. These milkweed seeds are full of beautiful promises…..for years to come.

  10. Cathy says:

    How pretty. Is it as soft and silky as it looks? 😃

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Cathy. Yes, it is very soft and they fly away like fairies in the breeze! It was once collected for stuffing in life-vests and cushions, but fell out of favor when poly fibers were invented.

      • Cathy says:

        That’s interesting. There must have been more of it about in those days.

      • Eliza Waters says:

        Yes, there were lots, but the advent of herbicides has nearly eradicated them in most of America. Toxic to livestock, farmers hate the plant and were more than eager to eliminate them. A huge movement on the part of gardeners and community groups are trying to plant more milkweed, and fingers crossed, they will be able to bring monarch numbers back up.

  11. derrycats says:

    Beautiful, whimsical shot. A friend/client of mine has an area full of milkweed and she collects the eggs laid and puts them in her butterfly tent and hatches them. I get to help when I pet sit. My only butterfly client (as well as her cats, of course.)

  12. Robin says:

    This is so beautiful! Well done, Eliza. ♥♥♥

  13. Maria says:

    Such feathery delight!

  14. Such a lovely picture, Eliza. I also appreciate the information about milkweed as a larval host for the Monarch butterfly. It’s easy to see why that would be as I look at the picture of that soft, yet safe place for those larvae to be and to grow and thrive. Beautiful.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Carrie. It is also a host plant for other invertebrates and the flowers (that preceded these seeds) are adored by pollinators. They even smell like honey!

      • Wow! Thank you. I’m inspired!

      • Also…city girl here. Such wisdom and knowledge wasn’t part of my exposure in those years. Hoping to find a new home with spaces and places for much more than container gardening. 😊

      • Eliza Waters says:

        A small milkweed that you could container grow is Asclepias tuberosa, widely available at nurseries. Imagine having beautiful striped larva to watch over? (Yes, they do eat the plant, sometimes down to nubs, but that is the point, yes? 🙂 ) Then they form jade green chrysalises nearby from which emerge the gorgeous monarch adults two weeks later. Pure magic!

      • Thank you, Eliza! Will definitely follow up on that!

  15. Pepper says:

    You captured the milkweed beautifully. 😊

  16. shoreacres says:

    I’m perplexed that I haven’t encountered this sight this year. It could be timing, but I haven’t seen many of the plants that produce these wonderful pods and seeds. There’s nothing more fun to photograph than these seeds, and you did a wonderful job.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, Linda. Yours most likely release at a different time. Our pods release about 4 months after blooming.

      • shoreacres says:

        One problem this year is that I didn’t even see many plants, for a variety of reasons: mowing, paving, lack of rain, and so on. I suspect if I’d been able to get out to some of the prairies farther north it would have been a different story.

  17. Eliza, what a beautiful picture of milkweed. An abstract swirl of seeds yet immediately recognizable. One to frame.

  18. Tina says:

    Beautiful photo, Eliza and a great reminder of the importance of leaving seeds and collecting some for the future.

  19. ghsmith76 says:

    Thanks for sharing. Monarch caterpillars ONLY eat milkweed. In fact, the monarch butterfly is also known as the “milkweed butterfly.”

  20. So whimsical and beautiful Eliza – thanks for sharing.

  21. Widdershins says:

    Heh, bad-hair day. 😀

  22. Debbie says:

    These look like angel wings! Thanks, Eliza, for the reminder about collecting those milkweed seeds so we can grow our Monarch population.

  23. Kris P says:

    So artistic! It makes me think of planktons floating in the sea.

  24. What a shot! It is one of my favorite plants going back to childhood.

  25. jmankowsky says:

    I love milkweed both for photographing and playing with. 😉 Beautiful capture. I always look forward to your Silent Sundays!

  26. I shall start sowing!

  27. Wonderful photo, Eliza and an important reminder!

  28. dianaed14 says:

    Love this. Quite abstract?

  29. Such a gorgeous photograph Eliza! 💛

  30. Ethereal and wonderful! Reminds me of a sea creature.

  31. maryjane678 says:

    Stunning Eliza. Thank you.

  32. pbmgarden says:

    Glorious photograph. I’ll try to scatter some seeds.

  33. Wow! What a beautiful capture, so ethereal…

  34. Perfect blend of earthy and ethereal…

  35. Mic. says:

    In my opinion it is difficult to take a bad photograph of milkweed. But, also in my opinion, this one is the most beautiful I can remember seeing. The soft lighting and the wonderful green background…many things all come together. As another commenter said, it would make a great print. 🙂

  36. What a gorgeous and magical capture!🙂

  37. naturebackin says:

    What a beautiful photo and a reminder that seedy plants can be just as lovely as when in flower!

  38. spanishwoods says:

    your shots are always stunning Eliza

  39. Beautiful close-up detail!

  40. neihtn2012 says:

    Fantastic shot! A couple weeks ago, I collected my Asclepias Tuberosa seeds and sowed them on another part of your backyard.

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