Strange Beauty

WARNING! Do not touch or pick these. In their rather alien-looking beauty, they are toxic.
Pin ItOh Honey! See those?!! Pull over, please....

Those words aren't unfamiliar to my sweet hubby. But REALLY. How could I pass by these strangely GORGEOUS things?


I knew they were milkweeds.  I just didn't really know anything about milkweeds until I looked it up in preparation for this article.
This is a shot of the inside "bowl" without the fluffy seeds. It's almost like smooth wood. 

To me, the exterior looks as if they are wearing furry winter coats. However, in the summer Milkweeds attract Monarch Butterflies! In fact, it is the only plant on which these amazing creatures lay their eggs. {I picked these in late fall, though, when they had no leaves.}

Milkweeds contain a chemical that makes the Monarch taste terrible to birds and other predators. It can also be toxic to humans and pets {read more below*}. 


As I think back, I do believe our cat Benny may have ingested some because he was inexplicably drooling and ill one weekend. YIKES!
  Edit: As for me, I found out later it caused some major itching on the tops of my hands and wrists. Bummer!!
If you don't have pets or small children, it's a beautiful plant for landscaping and helping the Monarch. Their numbers are declining and migratory paths are changing for lack of habitat. You'll want to educate yourself about Milkweed first, though.

I have more planned for these amazing pods!
Stay tuned. You won't want to miss what's coming...

The Amazing Benny    Pin It
By the way, the Benito is fine and the other two kitties never had any problems. As you can see, Benny is our adventurer! He's created his own "pod" with the grocery bag. You can catch more of his antics *here.*

{WARNING* I've read that: Milkweed is toxic to humans without proper preparation; and yet with proper preparation it can be eaten. Hmmm... I wouldn't be trying that! I found that I react to it quite negatively, so we won't be able to help out the monarchs here!  Milkweed is rated low to moderately toxic to dogs and cats. So are tomato plants, lilies and tulips, I just discovered! Milkweed stems, leaves and roots are the dangerous parts -stay away from the sticky sap. By the way, you can be sure from now on I'll be googling BEFORE I pick nature's pretty things!}

Speaking of unusual floral beauty, check out how to make a ROSE from...well...you gotta see it to believe it!!




You might also be interested in: Gorgeous Glass, Burlap & Weeds Wildflowers


15 comments:

Katalina Jewelry said...

You really captured the beauty of that milkweed! Your photos are exceptional.

Beth @Under A Pile of Scrap! said...

I have been wanting to grow some milkweeds here along the sunnier edge of our woods. I had spotted some growing along the road not far from here and keep forgetting to get them. I have been wanting to attract more Monarchs to my gardens. We don't get many & I want to do my part to help them out. I'm glad you touched on this topic!

Jill said...

What an interesting post! I never knew ANY of that about milkweed! (cute cat too! :))

Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a fabulous week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success
http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

Babs said...

Great photos and interesting plant info. I always plant to attract butterflies, but never remember to look for milkweed seeds.I love plants that have pods...so great for dried arrangements. I'll make a garden note for this year. Benny is so cute in the paper bag.
Babs

PERMANENT POSIES said...

I was almost emotional seeing the photos of the milkweed. God is an amazing creator! Thanks for sharing them.

Anonymous said...

i love sun dried God made florals too. they are way more beautiful by dint of bieng rare than those that man has grown and dried! thanks for all the milkweed info too. knew they were toxic - fortuantly only when green!

Anonymous said...

i love sun dried God made florals too. they are way more beautiful by dint of bieng rare than those that man has grown and dried! thanks for all the milkweed info too. knew they were toxic - fortuantly only when green!

Pieced Pastimes said...

I love milkweed. I use the pods quite often with wildflower arrangements. Your photos really capture their natural beauty. Looking forward to see how you use them.

Aimee - ItsOverflowing.com said...

Great info!! Thanks so much for linking up to Overflowing with Creativity!! Have you entered my giveaway yet?

XO, Aimee

Customizable Frames, Signs, Wall Decor

Janae said...

WOW THIS MILKWEED IS VERY INTERESTING!! YOUR KITTY IS TOO CUTE!!

Jen the CraftinCowgirl said...

Milkweed is beautiful and interesting. We used to have ditches full of milkweed when I was a kid. I remember picking them and blowing the seeds everywhere. Unfortunately, they are declining in numbers. Alot of it has to do with farmers spraying ditches and fields. (I live in Iowa) Funny how a ditch weed can bring back so many childhood memories :o) Thanks for the pictures!

WhyCuzICan said...

Very cute and INTERESTING photos!

Nice job!Thanks for sharing with us :D

Visiting from Craft-O-Maniac's linky party,
~Suzanne in NW Illinois

cathy@my1929charmer said...

I love milkweed, there is a wildlife area that I walk in close to home, and there is many milkweed there. It is such a cool plant no matter what season it is. Your pictures are very pretty. Thanks for sharing you creative inspiration at Sunday's Best party!

Heather said...

Hi, my name is Heather! Please email me when you can, I have a question about your blog!

HeatherVonSJ[at]gmail[dot]com

Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust said...

How fun. I've never seen these before. I enjoyed reading about them.

Warmly, Michelle