Here comes the pods! I've been showing you the blossoms of the milkweed plants throughout the summer, and now I'm going to show you the really interesting part of this plant. This is the phase of the milkweed plant that I was first introduced to. I'm going to show you the pods.
The seed pods of the milkweed plant have possibly inspired horror movies. The most well known is The Invasion of The Body Snatchers, where evil replicas of familiar people hatched out of these coffin sized alien space pods. The pods bore a resemblance to these milkweed pods.
These fresh milkweed pods really do look alien and strange. That's why I like them so much. Inside them are thousands of seeds that are attached to fluff. When the pods burst open, the seeds and the fluff float into the air and are carried by the wind to a distant location so the plants may spread across great distances.
As far as I know it's only Common Milkweed that has these pods. Others only have the pretty little flowers with the evil looking fangs on them. I just read, right before I typed this sentence, that small insects can get caught in those fangs and die. So the fangs are more real than I ever imagined!
But we're talking about the pods today. Some people claim that some parts of this plant are edible, but I'm not so sure about this. Everything else I've read say it's poisonous. Maybe parts are and other parts are not. It is claimed that Native Americans used an extract of this plant as cough medicine.
People used to use the fluff from these plants to stuff pillows. And more recently the same fluff has been used to stuff life jackets. Milkweed is the favorite food of Monarch Butterflies. They and their larvae are both very poisonous as a result. The same goes for the Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle that I featured yesterday.
Another creature that eats these are Small Milkweed Bugs, which I have also featured in the past. That was probably right before anyone really read this blog very much. I used to write very many informative posts about these plants. Some weren't so informative. Those last ones were just strange.
Anyway, take a good look at the pictures I have for you today. I've given you a good look at a few milkweed plants with some very fresh seed pods on them. They're very interesting plants. If you would like to learn more about them, a search of my blog and a read through of a few old posts will give you plenty.
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