Asclepias are a genus within the Apocynaceae family and are commonly referred to as Milkweed. This is due to the milky sap that is produces – most of which is poisonous. Carl Linnaeus named this genus after the Greek god of healing, Asclepius. Although toxic, Asclepias has had many uses. During World War II, the filaments from these plants were used to create insulation. Milkweed fibers are also used to clear up oil spillages.
Asclepias are evergreen or deciduous perennials or sub-shrubs. Simple, leathery leaves support clusters of impressive vibrant flowers that are filled with a copious volume of nectar during the summer and early autumn months. Paired fruits that contain seeds will often follow to create further interest.
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