This is considered the most beautiful milkweed. If you crumple a leaf, a white, milky substance will ooze from the leaf. The plant has medicinal uses, it is a source of cordage, and it can be used to make a rubbery glue. Young shoots and seed pods can be boiled and eaten. The plant is supposed to attract butterflies, but has mostly attracted bees.
This wildflower is available from nurseries. It was used by Indians for medical purposes as a blood purifier, to clean wounds, and for sore throats. It contains the drug echinacea and is used today to treat septicemia. The flower was growing in a neighbor's yard about two blocks away. With permission, I took some seeds from the plants there. The first two flowers appeared two years later.
|ECH - June 13, 2005||
National Wildflower Research Center
Texas Society for Ecological Restoration
Natural Area Preservation Association
Sally Wasowski's Page
Center for Environmental Philosophy