Asclepias Physocarpus Oscar - aka Hairy Balls - free Seed
If you'd like to try growing this plant as a Monarch Butterfly host, I have 5 packets of 20-25 seeds each to give away. I will just need your snail mail address. Retail Handling & Postage has gotten to be so expensive, there is no need to pay retail costs for this seed when I have more than I can use.
The seed was purchased for last years growing season and I didn't use all of them. I've checked them for viability this month and within 2 weeks of planting in a 2 liter mini greenhouse, 8 of 10 seeds have germinated so I feel they're still good. The seed has always been kept in the fridge.
The plants are rather awkward looking and unless pinched back early in the seaon, will grow to about 4-6 feet by end of season. In my experience, the Monarchs love this plant and it can be used as a good food source if you're raising Monarch cats for release. I fed my fall Monarch cats last fall by using cuttings from this plant. In my area, it remains fresh looking after a long hot season of growth.
I notice in the seed description below, the note that they require stratification. I've never done anything other than start them and have had great germination rates so I'm not certain if that bit of information is totally correct. Maybe keeping them in the fridge has provided the chill they need?
And ... I'd forgotten about the hardiness rating shown below. I wonder if my plants will come back from the base this spring?
Asclepias Physocarpus Oscar or better know as family jewels plant aka Hairy Balls. A perennial plant with white flowers, grows 2-4 feet tall, does very well in full sun. The seed pods are the real star of this plant. Used extensively in floral arrangement and the butterflies are the bonus. Note seeds require stratification.
USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 9.
This photo was taken Aug 29, 2012