COMMON MILKWEED (Asclepias syriaca)
Family: Milkweed family Location: Fields and roadsides
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.