Although there are many types of milkweed, this page is about the common milkweed (asclepias syriaca),
Common milkweed is also called silkweed, Virginia silkweed, silky swallow- wort, and butterfly flower.
Milkweed gets its name from the white sap that oozes out from the stems and leaves when they are broken Milkweed sap is a common folk remedy used to clot small wounds, remove warts, and as a natural remedy for poison ivy.
In the past, parts of the milkweed plant were used for medicinal purposes, for making rope and string, and to stuff buffalo robes and life vests. Even today, milkweed floss is used to stuff jackets, comforters, and pillows.
Milkweed seed is sold for land reclamation, highway beautification, butterfly gardens, and to butterfly farmers.
And common milkweed is the only food source for monarch butterfly larvae (caterpillars).
Adult monarchs feed on the nectar of many flowers, but they breed only where milkweeds are found. Milkweed flowers also attract other butterfly species, bees, hummingbirds, and
hummingbird clear wing moths.
I took all the photographs except for the orange butterfly weed. The milkweed plants were in a field in eastern Tennessee. ~~ Burntchestnut