Tropical Milkweed Seed Pods

imabirdnutOctober 16, 2010

There was an earlier post saying that we haven't seen pods forming on our tropical milkweed...so I decided to see if I could help things along!

I used a small water color brush & rubbed the inside of the flowers & look, it's working!!! I now have several dozen pods forming! I've used the paintbrush technique when I was wanting to make sure that my birdhouse gourds were pollinated & it works for milkweed as well!

Here is a link that might be useful:

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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Way to go, Girl! My problem was that I had so many bugs and caterpillars, there were no flowers to pollinate, darn it!

You can also do like we do tomatos, and just shake the flower stems. That works with "sticky" pollen, so it should work with the milkweed flowers, too. I have a feeling that all the heat and humidity we had this year caused the milkweed pollen to become "sticky" as well, making pollination a difficult, if not impossible, task.

But, you're doing exceedingly well with your flowers! Congrats!

Susan

P.S. My Senna bicapsularis is setting seed now and I have collected several seeds from it for you. Awaiting the Verbesina alternifolia, and I can't remember what else we talking about. I also let my Hibiscus coccineus set some seed this year and have collected it as well if you want some (host for Grey Hairsteak). I can also collect some Boehmeria cylindrica or False Nettle seeds for Red Admirals and Question Marks if you want.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2010 at 8:12PM
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imabirdnut

I am excited to get pods finally! I was checking the plants today & saw 2 tiny queen cats on them...didn't check all of them but I'm not bringing any more monarchs or queens in, I only have one crysalid left out of several dozen.
Susan, I have Verbesina encelioides -Cowpen Daisy. It has been blooming all summer & it raised several batches of Bordered Patches. Email me with your address & I'll send you some as well as anything else on my list you would like. I have gotten quite a few of my plants from seed swaps or I collected seeds out & about! I will be updating my list soon. I collected some Velvetleaf senna seeds & am planning on planting them in the spring. I'd love some of your senna seeds...is it hardy in your zone? Everything I've read says it is hardy to zone 8a. I also have several plants that aren't supposed to be hardy here but are even when we have bad winters like last year. My Caesalpinia gilliesii -- Bird-of-Paradise isn't supposed to be hardy here but is about 15ft tall & thriving! I have fresh seeds if you want some...it is host for Orange Barred Sulphur & Mexican Yellow. I think we talked about Clammyweed, also? Do you want some tropical seeds when I harvest them? We can wait until November to trade if you would like?
I would like anything that is a host plant for my new BF bed I am in the process of making! I have a Texas star hibicus that I think is the same thing as the Hibiscus coccineus but I've never seen a cat on it. Do any BFs use Turk's cap for a host?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 12:03AM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Turk's Cap is a host to the White Skipper, but it's range is only into parts of very southern Texas. It might host Painted Ladies since they use many malva family plants, but probably not a favored host. I grow it for the hummers.

Yes, it was the Clammyweed I really wanted.

Caelsapinia gillesii is hardy in Oklahoma City as well. I tried to grow seed this spring, but the seedlings did not make it in our weird spring weather this year, darn it! So, yes, I'd love some seed from yours!

The Verbesina I have is alternifolia, or Wingstem. It's a pretty plant with a pretty bloom, and what's really cool is it blooms heavily in shade to partial shade which is what it prefers.

I also have Cosmic Orange cosmos and Peppermint, red/white striped Zinnias, and Verbena bonariensis. I may have some Dwarf Red Porterweed if I can figure out how to harvest the seeds. They were definitely pollinated by the hummingbirds, the Cloudless Sulphurs, Gulf Fritillaries, and Monarchs, all of which loved the nectar on it.

I may also get some seed from my Night Blooming Jasmine, a sphinx moth fave, as well as a white Datura inoxia.

Senna bicapsularis is not hardy in your zone or mine, but it reseeds prolifically. I just pull the seedlings I don't want. It is a very nice host plant, the leaves hold up much better than my Senna hebecarpa for raising caterpillars.

Waiting til November is probably a good idea because then the frenzy will be over (I hope my tomatos ripen before frost; cross your fingers) and I will have been able to collect all my seed.

Susan

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 10:14AM
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