There’s a spot along the Piedras Pintadas trail at Lake Hodges where Indian Milkweed (Asclepias eriocarpa) grows. It’s a really pretty plant (poisonous though!), plus the flowers smell absolutely wonderful – like fruit with vanilla, perhaps. Well, smells are hard to describe. The plant got its name from the white sap that is coming out when a part of the plant (leaf etc.) breaks off. It’s also known as Woolypod milkweed and Kotolo.
Many Milkweeds are poisonous – and Monarch butterflies primarily feed on them. The butterflies collect the Milkweed toxins in their bodies, and when birds eat the butterflies, they get poisoned – so they learned to avoid the Monarchs, which protects the butterflies during their migration. Fascinating nature stuff!
Anyway, I knew where it would be growing and where to look from previous years, but I didn’t expect it to be growing so slow. I saw the first plants quite a while ago, and made the photos of the plants that already had flower buds at the end of April. I was thinking it wouldn’t be much longer – but only this week the buds finally opened and the flowers came out. It was worth the wait and the frequent returns to this trail!
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As usual with my macros/close-ups, all photos hand-held with the 105mm VR Micro Nikkor and the camera in Auto-ISO.Thanks for reading! You can stay up to date with my blogposts and subscribe via email (the subscription form opens in a new browser window/tab). It's easy as pie! :-)
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