Milkweed and Monarch Butterfly

Milkweed Seeds

Perhaps you have seen milkweed seeds in the fall.

Did you ever see a puffy, white sphere floating through the air? Underneath you might have seen a hard, brown, flat seed.

You saw the big, green pods growing on a plant. In the fall, the pods gradually turn brown. They split open and the wind carries the seeds to a new location.

I collected some of these seeds. I planted them in my milkweed plant beds in the fall.

In the northern United States, milkweed seeds need a period of cold in order to germinate. This is called stratification. That is why you should plant the seeds in the earth, in the fall.

As an alternative, you could keep the seeds in a refrigerator for a few months.

 

Fluffy white fibers

Some people call those soft, white fibers - silk.

It is also called coma.

 

Collecting Data activity

Measuring Milkweed project

Milkweed Symmetry

milkweed pods opencloseup

Click on the pods for a closer view

 

 

 

white butterflyweed pod

Dried white milkweed pod that has split open.
Seeds and silk fibers are showing.

Observation

orange bullet 2. How many caterpillars do you see on this
white butterfly weed plant?

 

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Fields, Meadows & Fencerows EcoStudy Unit

Milkweed plant with 3 caterpillars

Multiple Monarch caterpillars on a Milkweed

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