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Asclepias rubra - L.
                 
Common Name Red Silkweed
Family Asclepiadaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards Although no specific reports have been seen for this species, many, if not all, members of this genus contain toxic resinoids, alkaloids and cardiac glycosides[274]. They are usually avoided by grazing animals[274].
Habitats Moist soils[235].
Range Eastern N. America - New Jersey and Pennsylvania to Florida, Missouri, Louisiana and Texas.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary

Asclepias rubra Red Silkweed


Larry Allain @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Asclepias rubra Red Silkweed
Jim Stasz @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
   
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Asclepias rubra is a PERENNIAL growing to 1.2 m (4ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects, lepidoptera.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Seedpod.
Edible Uses: Gum;  Sweetener.

Flower buds - cooked as potherbs or added to soups[207]. Young shoots and leaves - cooked as potherbs or added to soups[207]. Young seed pods, 3 - 4 cm long, cooked[207]. Flower clusters can be boiled down to make a sugary syrup[207]. A chewing gum can be made from the latex contained in the stem and leaves, but it is possibly toxic[207].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Warts.

The latex is used as a cure for warts[168].
Other Uses
Fibre;  Gum;  Latex;  Stuffing.

The following reports refer to other members of this genus and are possibly also appropriate for this species[K]. A good quality fibre is obtained from the bark, used in making twine, cloth, paper etc[95, 112, 169]. It is of poor quality in wet seasons[112]. It is easily harvested in late autumn after the plant has died down by simply pulling the fibres off the dried stems[169]. The seed floss is used to stuff pillows etc or is mixed with other fibres to make cloth[112, 159, 169, 171]. It is a Kapok substitute, used in Life Jackets or as a stuffing material[112]. Very water repellent, it can yield up to 550 kilos per hectare[112]. The floss has also been used to mop up oil spills at sea. Candlewicks can be made from the seed floss[112, 207]. Rubber can be made from latex contained in the leaves and the stems[46, 57, 102, 159]. It is found mainly in the leaves and is destroyed by frost[112]. Yields are higher on dry soils[112]. Pods contain an oil and a wax which are of potential importance. The seed contains up to 20% of an edible semi-drying oil[74, 112]. It is also used in making liquid soap[74].
Cultivation details
Prefers a well-drained light rich or peaty soil and a sunny position[1, 134, 200]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is closely related to A. lanceolata[200]. Many members of this genus seem to be particularly prone to damage by slugs. The young growth in spring is especially vulnerable, but older growth is also attacked and even well-established plants have been destroyed in wet years[K]. Plants resent root disturbance and are best planted into their final positions whilst small[134]. The flower of many members of this genus can trap insects between its anther cells, the struggles of the insect in escaping ensure the pollination of the plant[207].
Propagation
Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in late winter[134, 169]. We have also had good results from sowing the seed in the greenhouse in early spring[K], though stored seed might need 2 - 3 weeks cold stratification[134]. Germination usually takes place in 1 - 3 months at 18°c[134]. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out when they are in active growth in late spring or early summer and give them some protection from slugs until they are growing away strongly. Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. Pot the divisions up and place them in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly, then plant them out in the summer, giving them some protection from slugs until they are established.. Basal cuttings in late spring. Use shoots about 10cm long with as much of their white underground stem as possible. Pot them up individually and place them in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until they are rooting and growing actively. If the plants grow sufficiently, they can be put into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in the greenhouse until the following spring and when they are in active growth plant them out into their permanent positions. Give them some protection from slugs until they are established.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Asclepias asperulaAntelope Horns, Spider milkweed, Trailing Milkweed21
Asclepias brachystephanaBract milkweed00
Asclepias californicaCalifornia Milkweed, Greene's milkweed21
Asclepias decumbens 20
Asclepias eriocarpaWoollypod Milkweed22
Asclepias erosaDesert Milkweed20
Asclepias galioidesBedstraw Milkweed21
Asclepias halliiPurple Silkweed, Hall's milkweed31
Asclepias incarnataSwamp Milkweed, Swamp Butterfly Weed, Marsh Milkweed32
Asclepias involucrataDwarf Milkweed21
Asclepias lanceolataPurple Silkweed, Fewflower milkweed21
Asclepias latifoliaBroadleaf Milkweed01
Asclepias mexicana 10
Asclepias ovalifoliaOval-leaf milkweed20
Asclepias pumilaLow Milkweed, Plains milkweed21
Asclepias purpurascensPurple Milkweed21
Asclepias quadrifoliaFourleaf Milkweed22
Asclepias speciosaShowy Milkweed32
Asclepias subulataRush Milkweed01
Asclepias sullivantiiPrairie milkweed00
Asclepias syriacaCommon Milkweed, Silkweed, Milkweed32
Asclepias tuberosaPleurisy Root, Butterfly milkweed, Rolfs' milkweed, Indian Paintbrush33
Asclepias viridifloraGreen Milkweed, Green comet milkweed32
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Expert comment
 
Author
L.
Botanical References
200235
Links / References
For a list of references used on this page please go here
Readers comment
 
Elizabeth H.
Michelle Tue Oct 15 02:37:46 2002
Does anyone know where I can aquire this milkweed as either plant or seed?
Elizabeth H.
Wolf Wed Mar 5 06:08:11 2003
I have been looking for Red Milkweed(Asclepias rubra)seeds for a long time,and also looking for Slim Milkweed(Asclepias linearis)and Four-Leaved Milkweed(Asclepias quadrifolia)seeds. Does any one have any?
Elizabeth H.
Nancy Thu Sep 7 2006
I have Red Milkweed. So I have seeds from it. Nancy petlover@discover-net.net
Elizabeth H.
Danny Mon Jan 19 2009
I am also looking for this plant. (seeds)
Elizabeth H.
Danny Mon Jan 19 2009
Nancy I tried to e-mail you. Did you get the e-mail? Do you have seeds of Asclepias Rubra? I am looking for this one. Thank-you, Danny
Elizabeth H.
Danny Mon Jan 19 2009
I am looking for this plant. Nancy do you still have seeds?
Elizabeth H.
Danny Sat Jan 24 2009
I want Asclepias Rubra seeds if you have some.
Elizabeth H.
John Brandauer Sat Nov 14 2009
I have Asclepias rubra seed, not much, first year growing here, but could give you a pod. Contact me through www.weedsforwildlife.com

Monarch on the Red Milkweed (Asclepias rubra)

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Subject : Asclepias rubra  

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