Milkweed Blooms

The milkweed is in full bloom, filling the air with its spicy-sweet scent.

I’m always happy when the milkweed starts blooming. Yes, I know it’s a weed, but its the food plant of the Monarch butterfly caterpillar, and if that weren’t enough, it smells so good. I’ve been toying with trying to extract the essential oil from the flowers and bottling that scent for year-round enjoyment. I tried last year and got a few drops of oil from my rigged distillation set-up and several cups of floral esseence, but neither smelled like much – not enough there. I’m going to try with the steamer/juicer we found last year (after I’d tried with the pots and ice set-up). I may wind up with a mess. The sap of milkweed is milky, hence the name, and bitter to the taste. I’m afraid I’ll harvest that bitterness and not the sweet scent. But it’s worth a try – we have a ton of milkweed in the field. Happy experimenting time!

Service Berry close to ripe

Wild blueberries, raspberries and even a few wild strawberries.

The elderberries are in bloom. Our one plant will bear much more fruit this year!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Greg
    Jul 08, 2011 @ 09:59:11

    milk weed honey

    Reply

  2. Kathleen
    Jul 08, 2011 @ 10:09:10

    It’s fun to experiment! The berries look yummy! I’m glad you have an elderberry — elderberry is actually effective against the flu virus, so save all the elderberries you can, by whatever method!

    Reply

  3. Steve Schwartzman
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 12:14:26

    A “weed” is just a plant that someone hasn’t learned to appreciate. I find nothing weedy about milkweeds, of which we have various kinds in central Texas, including some that are vines, one with flowers that are green and have a pearl in the center. I love the fluff that comes from all their pods.

    Steve Schwartzman
    http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com

    Reply

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