Height: 18-24 in (46-61 cm). Propagation: By seeds
It is in mid to late summer when seeds begin to drop from seedpods. It’s a great time for us, Gardeners, to collect seeds to sow for next year’s perennials or wildflowers. We refer to this as creating your own garden’s seed bank.
In our garden, and unrelated to the above process, we created a pond using a whisky barrel to showcase some aquatic Florida native plants. Among these plants we have one of our all-time favorite Aquatic Milkweed (Asclepias perennis). We noticed it had two fat seedpods on it that we were monitoring day-in and day-out. It was a matter of time before they matured and split open and, naturally, it happened on a day when we were not around. Some of the seeds were disbursed by the time we realized it.
We collected what we were able to and decided to immediately sow some of them into a 12-cell tray. These started to come up quickly (within a month of planting them).
Latin name: Asclepias perennis
Host plant for the Monarch and Queen butterflies
Hydrated soils, floodplains, water way margins, marshes, cypress swamps, ditches, and wet lands.
Height: 18-24 in (46-61 cm).
Propagation by seeds
Blooms from May until September
Cold hardy in USDA zones 6 - 11
As we enjoyed our garden one afternoon, we noticed a clump of sprouting seedlings between the patio and a small metal decorative panel that was not too far from the whisky barrel pond. Ha!
Upon closer inspection, it was a cluster of the Aquatic Milkweed seeds that had found its way to the perfect spot. Surely, there was plenty of moisture and just the right amount of muck to promote the growth of eight seedlings, each in various stages of development. An instant case study! 😍
Nature's Grand Plan
Below are some photos to show the stages of development from the time the root leaves the seed's protective casing to the first set of true leaves.
Here you see the cluster of seedlings with their roots already growing.
The seedling to the right of the cluster shows the small root, which grows first. Next comes the stem and lastly the cotyledon leaves.
At this stage of development, there are two sets of “leaves”. The top set of leaves are the first true leaves, and the bottoms ones are the cotyledon leaves.
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