White Flowers
COMMON MILKWEED (Asclepias syriaca)
Small Flowering Plants

Family: Milkweed family             Location: Fields and roadsides

Season: Summer

Leaves: Opposite, entire, oblong or oval, short-stalked, grayish-downy beneath.

Flower: White, 5 regular parts, hoods, 1/8 to 1/6 inch long, fragrant umbels.  See pod is elongated green, ripening to dry brown.  Seed have white "parachutes" that help in dispersal.  (See bottom 3 pictures.)

Comments: Milkweeds produce latex (a white, sticky sap, 3rd picture left) as a defense mechanism.  The latex contains toxic chemicals (cardiac glycosides).  Monarch butterfly larvae feed exclusively on milkweed and absorb these chemicals and use them as defense against predators.