Milkweed ID - A. speciosa, variegata, syriaca, or X?
I could use some help from the "wildflower folks" here in TN.... a few years ago I snapped a photo of a wildflower and I forget where I shared the photo at, but someone liked it and wanted some and told me it was "Showy Milkweed"... I knew of two specimens on the hill at the time, several hundred feet away from one another. Then, nothing for a few years until this year. I found four more specimens this evening and snapped pictures of them. The first one is less than 2 feet from where the original/first specimen was and the other three very close to that - from 2-30 feet in distance (actually probably way under 30' at max, but I want to be safe on an estimate and go over rather than under)... anyway, I hopped online, discovered my husband was wrong - my memory card won't fit in his laptop's slot, so I currently can't transfer it to upload - grah double grah - but in looking around online, notably one place that had photos of 16 species of Asclepias (good photos), I found myself in doubt. I was TOLD this was Showy Milkweed, but after looking at the photos, I'm not sure if it is A. speciosa, A. syriaca, A. variegata, or a commonplace hybrid/cross between A. speciosa and A. syriaca. Right now the blooms aren't open - a few are beginning to open, but for the most part they are closed tight and some still developing their heads, small, and still light green in colour and I can't remember the name of the original specimen's photo file on my website to look at it and compare it to what I've seen online.
Is there any sure-fire or easy way to tell them apart? I mean I keep looking at the online photos (which the blooms are open on while these are still closed) and ticking off similarities and traits I'm not sure match or don't match... but I just can't be sure.
Any experienced hints?
Can anyone tell me how big the seeds of Milkweed are? Form? Colour? Best method to time and harvest/collect seed? Is it easier propagated by seed or by tuber division or transplant?
While some info cites this for full sun - these particular specimens are actually in the woods and beneath Oaks and near pines - a goodly amount of dappled shade, all things considered... I have not yet ever seen one come up in the open/unwooded areas of the property. (but that is not an indicator on the plant's spread necessarily because this is the first time I have allowed the "open" areas to grow up as high as they are and a great many different plants being allowed to reach mature heights - this milkweed could have progeny in the "open" that has never been allowed to "grow up" in the past - though if they are, they haven't yet and I'm not sure how much longer I can stand the open areas NOT being mowed/cut) Off the top of my head, I can't recall seeing it elsewhere on the hill aside from that second specimen several years back....
So - any insight?