ALLCASTLE PRINCETON + work

Common Milkweed Flowers

The milkweed is in bloom. Despite their pretty subtle purple color, they aren't the prettiest flowers to look at. They are comprised of many little flowers that droop downward in a ball. The stems are small, and they don't exactly work well as a cut flower.

As if to make up for their lack of visual appeal, milkweed flowers have the most incredible aroma. Next time you see some along the road or in an old field, stop and take a whiff. It will be worth your time.

So they aren't very pretty, but they do smell wonderful so what exactly can you do with them? The flowers can be dried and used in wreaths or for making potpourri.

Leave the flowers where they are and enjoy watching the butterflies. Milkweed is very popular among the bees and the butterflies, especially the monarch butterfly. In fact much of the monarch life cycle involves milkweed. Observing them both can be very educational. I tried to move some plants closer to the house last year in the hopes of starting a butterfly garden. My transplants did not make it. I would like to try again.

Milkweed flowers (and the plant when prepared correctly) can also be eaten. Making milkweed flower fritters is a treat around here. Making them is easy. Make a fritter batter, or you can use a thin pancake batter. I recommend making a fairly thin batter for milkweed blossoms. Then fry them in oil.

Though I have yet to try other edible uses for the flowers, instructions for making milkweed tea and syrup can be found in Bootstraps and Biscuits. Last year I was not able to gather enough to try either of these. This year I have found a huge patch nearby. I hope to try some new things with milkweed this summer.

Milkweed flowers can be enjoyed for their smell, for the butterfly attraction or for their taste. However you enjoy them, they are a weed with a lot to offer. Just be sure if you do pick them to leave some for the wildlife to enjoy too!

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Common Milkweed Flowers + work