POISONOUS PARTS: Milky sap from leaves, stems. Toxic only in large quantities. Symptoms include vomiting, stupor, weakness, spasms by ingesting other species; need careful identification. Toxic Principle: Resinoid, cardiac glycoside in other species. (Poisonous Plants of N.C. State)
The name milkweed refers to the milky white sap, which contains bitter chemicals to protect the plants from predators. A few insects are immune to these poisons and accumulate them in their bodies, protecting themselves from their own predators. Monarch butterflies cannot complete their life cycles without milkweed. (Kershaw)
Provides nectar for butterflies such as: pipe-vine swallowtail, black swallowtail, tiger swallowtail, gray hairstreak, summer azure, great spangled fritillary, aphrodite fritillary, silvery checkerspot, Baltimore, American painted lady, red admiral, little wood satyr, wood nymph. (Wildtype)
Aboriginal people have used it for medicinal reasons. People have used the tough fibres for making cord and rope. (USDA Plants)
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