Milkweed – Fall & Winter

Finding & Collecting Milkweed Seeds

By |2019-04-17T12:17:18-04:00April 17th, 2019|Milkweed - Fall & Winter|

PHOTO: Susan Pelton, UCONN Most milkweed species grow particularly well in disturbed areas, so start by looking in the following places: roadsides, pastures, along railroad tracks, bike paths, highway medians, agricultural field margins, vacant land, cultivated gardens, and parks. If you plan to grow your own milkweeds, or add milkweeds to your current site, you can collect seeds when the milkweed pods are ready to burst (this occurs in the fall in the northern U.S.). Once you have collected seeds, remove them from the pods and store them in an airtight container in a [...]

What is Cold Stratification?

By |2019-04-17T11:56:31-04:00April 17th, 2019|Milkweed - Fall & Winter|

Cold stratification is the process of subjecting milkweed seeds to both cold and moist conditions as they require these conditions before germination will ensue. In the wild In the wild, seed dormancy is usually overcome by having its hard seed coat softened up by frost and weathering action during winter. This is nature's form of "cold stratification" or pretreatment. This cold moist period triggers the seed's embryo; its growth and expansion can then break through the softened seed coat in its search for sun and nutrients. Process In its most [...]

Milkweed & the Allied War Effort

By |2019-04-17T11:15:15-04:00April 17th, 2019|Milkweed - Fall & Winter|

Milkweed takes its name from its latex or milk-like sap. In autumn, it is easily recognized by the large greenish-gray pods which eventually dry and split open to reveal seeds secured to fine white silky filaments or floss. Tethered to this floss, the seeds drift with the wind, and so are dispersed. It was this distinctive floss which in 1944 became vital to the Allied war effort as stuffing for life vests and insulation for flight suits. Read the article. Some ideas remain great despite the flow of years and cultural change. An example [...]