Asclepias is a genus of herbaceous perennials and a member of the dogbane family, Apocynaceae, that also includes blue star (Amsonia), periwinkle (Vinca), and oleander (Nerium). There are over 140 species in the genus all of which are native to America and have a latex, milky sap that gives them the common name of milkweed. The flowers are very complex and are produced in terminal flat topped clusters or rounded clusters in the axils of leaves. Each flower has five backward pointing petals with forward protruding lobes and may be orange, yellow, pink, or purple. The fruits are inflated and contain seeds with plumes of silky hairs that facilitate wind dispersal. Several species are valued as a food source for monarch butterflies because the larvae feed only on the leaves of this genus.
Meaning in the Language of Flowers: Cure for the heart ache
The miserable have no other medicine, but only hope. Shaks.
Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie. Ibid.
Wise men ne’er sit and wail their loss,
But cheerily seek how to redress their harms. Ibid.
Love takes the meaning, in love’s conference.
You may be pleased to catch at my intent. Ibid.
For more information:
The Language of Flowers: Introduction