Sterile Asclepias tuberosa

echinaceamaniac(7)November 5, 2013

I have a milkweed that never has seed pods. I think it might be a hybrid; however, it looks like Asclepias tuberosa. This plant blooms over and over when the others are done and requires no deadheading. I have had this plant for over 5 years now. I'll post photos of it next year. Maybe others will want some if I can root cuttings!

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hortster(6a, southcentral KS)

Keep the faith, echinaceamaniac! I collected an A. tuberosa seven years ago and it has only set pods for the last two. Even so, there were only two or three last year and one this year. I speculate that it is not a self pollinator (anyone know for sure?) and pod set is dependent on the wind or insects. I am not aware of any others in the surrounding area so that is my guess as to why there has been such a light pod set.
By the way, seeds I planted from last year did germinate this year (workin' on more Monarch chow). I am anxious to see if there is bloom color variation in the seedlings since that would further reinforce my guess. The one I collected is deep red orange. I have observed native patches around here that range from that color to "plain" orange and even to yellow orange.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 3:18PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I agree that the problem is more likely related to pollination. Plant another tuberosa nearby and see if you have better results. Any plant that is blooming should produce seeds, unless, as you wondered, it is sterile. I've not heard of any hybrid milkweeds.


    Bookmark   March 2, 2014 at 7:43AM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

I have one A tuberosa that is about 4-5 years old and has never set a seed pod. I have several other A tuberosa plants growing in the same area that have produced many seed pods so I'm beginning to wonder if this particular plant might be sterile. I purchased it from a nursery and bought it because of it's bright orange color. It also blooms very little compared to my more common light orange colored A tuberosa plants.

With each new growing season, hope springs eternal but so far, it's been pretty much a dud A tuberosa! :-)


    Bookmark   March 8, 2014 at 12:01PM
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If you do try rooting it, I think I read a while back that cuttings of the roots rather than the stems are the way to do it.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2014 at 12:54AM
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