Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of numerous plants of the genus Asclepias, having milky juice, usually opposite leaves, variously colored flowers grouped in umbels, and pods that split open to release seeds with downy tufts. Also called silkweed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several plants, of the genus Asclepias, that have a milky sap and have pods that split to release seeds with silky tufts.
  • n. A monarch butterfly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any plant of the genera Asclepias and Acerates, abounding in a milky juice, and having its seed attached to a long silky down; silkweed. The name is also applied to several other plants with a milky juice, as to several kinds of spurge. Its leaves are a favorite food source for the larvae of the monarch butterfly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A general name for plants of the genus Asclepias, somewhat especially for A. Cornuti, the most common American species: so called from their milky juice.
  • n. A plant of the genus Euphorbia, especially E. corollata, the flowering or blooming spurge. See Euphorbia.
  • n. In Great Britain: The sow-thistle, Sonchus oleraceus.
  • n. The milk-parsley, Peucedanum palustre.
  • n. The tall blue lettuce, Lactuca spicata.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. annual Eurasian sow thistle with soft spiny leaves and rayed yellow flower heads
  • n. any of numerous plants of the genus Asclepias having milky juice and pods that split open releasing seeds with downy tufts

Etymologies

milk +‎ weed (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Damian, milkweed is also brilliant for healing damaged livers.

    Cheeseburger Gothic » Wish I’d taken a photo.

  • Of course, some weeds, like milkweed, is not good for the goats so I have to be careful not to include them.

    Archive 2010-08-01

  • During the summer these wonderful creatures go through several short generations each lasting only a few weeks scattered throughout the U.S. and southern Canada, wherever milkweed is available.

    Ojo Del Lago - A Trip to See the Monarchs

  • Many scientists say that the cardenolides contained in milkweed are poisonous to most potential predators thus protecting the spectacularly colored monarchs.

    The Majestic Monarch Butterfly

  • Allied to the milkweed is another plant, the dogbane (_Apocynum_), which has a similar trick of entrapping its insect friends.

    My Studio Neighbors

  • For example, monarch caterpillars adore butterfly weed, often times called milkweed, members of the Asclepias family of plants.

    The Seattle Times

  • Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed, which is regularly killed by pesticides when wild lands are adapted for other uses.

    The Albert Lea Tribune

  • Asclepsis, also known as milkweed, is tall growing perennial and if not cut back will reach the roof of your house but I plant them for the butterflies to lay their eggs on.

    thetowntalk.com -

  • Brower perfected a method that allows him to determine which kind of milkweed a butterfly has ingested and, since these milkweeds grow in distinct regions, thereby to identify where each butterfly comes from.

    Four Wings and a Prayer: Caught in the Mystery of the Monarch Butterfly by Sue Halpern

  • And before tearing out "weeds" such as milkweed - a plant loved by hummingbirds and butterflies - if pods are found covered with insects, take the time to identify what they are, she said.

    Sun Journal

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