This photograph from Wikipedia speaks volumes to the importance of the milkweed. Asclepias tuberosa is a favored nesting site for the Monarch butterfly. At summers end, the wild plants we have growing at the shop will be covered with their larvae. The Monarch larvae feed on these leaves. The butterfly weed is a favored host What Are the White Floaties That Come Off Dandelions?. Enjoying warm locations, dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) grow roots as deep as 15 feet into the soil, if they remain undisturbed. Often considered a weed in lawns and flowerbeds, these rapidly growing plants are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant … <span ><span >They're <b>both edible and delicious</b>. White clover is an alterative like it's cousin the red clover, meaning it improves the condition of our blood.</span></span><span >May 13, 2015</span>
More On White: Milkweed
This photograph from Wikipedia speaks volumes to the importance of the milkweed. Asclepias tuberosa is a favored nesting site for the Monarch butterfly. At summers end, the wild plants we have growing at the shop will be covered with their larvae. The Monarch larvae feed on these leaves. The butterfly weed is a favored host in my area. They will spin cocoons; the mature butterflies will emerge some four weeks, give or take. Only once have I witnessed a mature butterfly emerging from its chrysalis-it happens that fast.
Asclepias has much to recommend. The plants are long lived, utterly drought resistant, and carefree. The flower heads of asclepias tuberosa are orange and gorgeous. Asclepias incarnata has flower heads that are a quiet shade of dusky rose. But my main interest in them is the seed pods. The pods are large, ovate, and a compelling shade of bluish green. In late summer, this green phase dominates the plants.
Once the seeds begin to ripen, the pods will split along their length.
Our local fields and meadows are full of the remains of the milkweed pods come November. They have an elegantly spare and ruggedly persistent shape.
But the white fluff inside is what interests me the most. Each butterfly weed seed is firmly affixed to its own white silky and fluffy airplane. These white silky hairs catch the wind, and aid in the dispersal of the seed.
How plants set seed is an event any gardener would appreciate. How the milkweeds insure the survival of their seed is nothing short of miraculous.
From Wikipedia: The milkweed filaments from the follicles are hollow and coated with wax, and have good insulation qualities. As of 2007, milkweed is grown commercially as a hypoallergenic filling for pillows. This commercial use does not interest me as much as how the butterfly weed seeds itself. A milkweed seed with its virtually weightless attendant white fluff is a little and subtle miracle I never tire of. Every year, the marvel of it enchants me.
Once those seeds emerge, that fluff is everywhere. It will stick to your hands, your clothes, your shoes, your trowel, and your wheelbarrow. An individual seed is large, and relatively speaking, heavy. How this plant has evolved to insure that these big seeds get dispersed is but one of countless stories engineered by nature. I have had occasion to design and install fairly complex landscapes, but this design and execution is beyond compare.
Any landscape designers best ally is what comes from the natural world. All it takes is a lot of observation, and then some serious thought. As my friend and colleague Susan Cohan says, art does not necessarily have to work. No artwork needs a white silky airplane to be. A work of art lives independent of time,conditions, and circumstance. Good landscape design is a craft, in that every moment needs to assess the conditions, fire up,and fly.
The milkweed seeds about to fly is a day in the gardening season I look forward to. I would hope these plants would find a foothold in many places. I like that the Monarch butterfly feeds and reproduces on a plant that has a plan to not only enable these beautiful creatures, but reproduce.
Much of gardening is about the physical issues. The dirt, the water, the drainage, the weather, the maintenance, the beginning, and the ending. But there are those singular moments that float.
There is a day every gardening season when I make the effort to launch the asclepias seeds. It feels good to think I am doing my part.
Do these seeds need me? No. Nature saw to this efficient dispersal long before I ever took up a trowel. But I do it anyway. This white fluff I put in the air makes me feel good.
What Are the White Floaties That Come Off Dandelions?
Enjoying warm locations, dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) grow roots as deep as 15 feet into the soil, if they remain undisturbed. Often considered a weed in lawns and flowerbeds, these rapidly growing plants are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through10. The white floaties that the dandelion produces are specialized seeds that are highly successful for widespread reproduction.
Before the specialized seeds appear, dandelions generate a yellow to orange flower on a stem that can rise up to 18 inches from the ground. This flower appears bright and fluffy against its green background, but is not a large or particularly appealing blossom for insect attraction. Requiring no pollinators, dandelions are self-pollinating and often change from flower to seed head over several days. This rapid seeding ability makes dandelions extremely successful at populating a widespread area — gardeners cannot keep up with the constant growth.
The white floaties originate from a densely packed seed head that resembles a fuzzy ball. If you look closely, each seed head has dozens of umbrella-like extensions. Located at the seed head’s center are the seeds — each seed has this umbrella structure attached to them. The umbrella’s canopy consists of hairs formed much like a chimney sweep brush. Combining both a tall stem and airy seed head, dandelions keep their seeds upright and available to wind vectors for successful distribution in the region.
Because many dandelions find a good growing location in lawn areas, wind gusts often disperse the seed parachutes throughout the area. The umbrella hairs lift the seed from the head and float along the breeze. The extremely lightweight seed can float as far as the wind allows. Once dropped into another soil location, these seeds do not have extensive dormant periods like other plant species. In fact, the seed germinates quickly to establish itself in the new location before plant competition takes over for natural resources, such as moisture and sunlight.
The white floaties provide widespread dandelion populations since they fly far distances, especially if the wind is strong enough. In fact, successfully grown dandelion roots help your soil remain aerated. As the roots grow deeply, they reduce soil compaction by creating air and moisture pockets underground. As a result, other tender plant roots have a chance to move into the aerated soil for ample foliage and stem growth. The dandelion taproot also increases nutrients in the shallow topsoil by moving critical elements, like calcium, from the deeper ground regions. Overall, successful dandelion seeds and seedlings create a fertile environment for all plant growth.
- Palomar Community College, Wayne’s World: Blowing In The Wind
- Wild Man Steve Brill: Common Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale)
- Maine Organic Farmers and Gardener’s Association: Ten Things You Might Not Know About Dandelions
- Michigan State University Plant Encyclopedia: Common Dandelion
Writing professionally since 2010, Amy Rodriguez cultivates successful cacti, succulents, bulbs, carnivorous plants and orchids at home. With an electronics degree and more than 10 years of experience, she applies her love of gadgets to the gardening world as she continues her education through college classes and gardening activities.
Weed With White Fluffy Seed Heads
What are the white puffy weeds called? Taraxacum (/t?ˈræks?k?m/) is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, which consists of species commonly known as dandelions. Read everything about it here. Likewise, what are the white puffy flowers called?
What are the white fluffy weeds called?
Or have you seen round, white poofs of fluff that you can blow into the air to make a wish? Those two flowers are the same flower. They’re called “dandelions,” which comes from the French words for “lion’s tooth.” They’re bright and friendly-looking, but grown-ups can’t stand them. Jul 29, 2020
What are the white weeds in my yard?
White Clover Identification
White clover is a perennial weed that grows low to the ground. While it can grow in many different places, it is typically found in lawns, especially sparse lawns where the competition from grass is weak. . The flowers on white clover are spiky and white with a brownish green center. Aug 8, 2021
What are the puffball weeds called?
Dandelion (taraxacum), known as blowball, milk witch, puff ball, or monk’s head, is a part of the asteraceae family of weeds. One of the world’s most common broadleaf weeds, dandelion features a yellow flower that turns into a ball of seeds. It is also distinguishable by its thick roots and tooth-like leaves.
What are the fluffy dandelions called?
Fruit: Flowers develop into seed heads. Each seed is attached to a characteristic fuzzy structure called a ‘pappus‘ that allows the seed to be carried by the wind. Dandelion leaves, flower, and seed head with pappus. B.