Milkweed

1 Jul

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I’ve only become familiar with Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) in the last 10 years as it didn’t grow in my home area and seems to only grow along railway tracks in the area I live now which is Moncton N.B.  With its large thick leaves and attractive flowers this plant you will take notice of right away once you see it.

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I’ve been rather slow in sampling Milkweed as a wild edible due to the location where it grows as I’m quite concerned with the potential toxins in the plants related to the sprays railways periodically receive which has been going on in these areas for over 100 years. This one is just 2 feet from the railway track.

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Today I’ve found a patch which has spread a few hundred feet into an open field which I suspect is a safe enough distance to try a few young flower buds which even in the most pristine environment would need to be boiled to be a safe edible, some even recommend changing the boiling water 3 times while cooking. Since I’m new to this plant this is the cooking process I followed.

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Here are the unopened flower buds. Milkweed comes by its name honestly as the amount of white latex the runs forth when a leaf breaks away from the stem is impressive to see and this latex has been used to make rubber, also some folks of long ago used the dried latex as a chewing gum.

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This is my collection of the uncooked buds which turn out to be very good vegetable when cooked in the 3 boiling water change process for total cooking time of 15 minutes. The flower buds turn a dark green once the are boiled. I’m also interested in trying the young seedpods as a wild edible when the time is right, the white seeds inside the young pods look to be an interesting food.

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One Response to “Milkweed”

  1. mobius faith July 1, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    I was always only aware of the this plant as food for Monarch butterflies and the little red bugs that open the pods. Had no idea that humans could also partake of it’s goodness. great post. Thanks.

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