Definition of milkweed in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmilkwēd/ /ˈmɪlkwid/

Translate milkweed into Spanish


  • 1A herbaceous American plant with milky sap. Some kinds attract butterflies, some yield a variety of useful products, and some are grown as ornamentals.

    Genus Asclepias, family Asclepiadaceae: several species, in particular the common milkweed (A. syriaca)

    ‘Some of the primary plants for butterfly larvae include: aspen, alfalfa, clover, nettle, pearly everlasting, milkweed, grasses, hackberry, parsley, vetch, and willow.’
    • ‘Plants here include prairie rose, nodding onion, gray-headed coneflower, butterfly weed, green milkweed, hoary puccoon, and even eastern prickly pear cactus.’
    • ‘The larvae absorb toxins from their food plant, milkweed.’
    • ‘Illinois bundle flower, butterfly milkweed, compass grass, and partridge peas nestle in another 20-acre plot.’
    • ‘Both adults and larvae live on plants frequented by aphids, including roses, oleander, milkweed and broccoli.’
    • ‘Yet, adult female butterflies choose these particular plants (monarch moms must have milkweed!) on which to lay their eggs.’
    • ‘I need information on the milkweed that attracts monarch butterflies.’
    • ‘Also known as milkweed and spurge, Euphorbia belongs to an incredibly varied genus that contains over 2,000 species including the Christmas favourite, poinsettia.’
    • ‘Volunteers will also be planting milkweed, which monarchs need to reproduce, and trying to create spawning sanctuaries and ‘no-take’ reserves for horseshoe crabs.’
    • ‘Monarchs spend the warmer months in regions west of the Rocky Mountains where milkweed (the sole plant their larvae eat) has been historically abundant.’
    • ‘All monarch caterpillars eat milkweed, a plant with an acrid latex containing potent cardiac glycosides, causing birds who eat the butterflies to vomit and learn to avoid them.’
    • ‘You can always camouflage milkweed by tucking one or two plants behind a couple of lovely buddleias.’
    • ‘They put out tubes holding cuttings of milkweed stems with two leaves, whole potted milkweed plants, and microscope slides coated with glycerin.’
    • ‘This can be an effective method of managing hemp dogbane and common milkweed.’
    • ‘Sedges, bluejoint grass, boneset, and swamp milkweed dominate the community.’
    • ‘For instance, the beautiful Monarch larvae prefer only milkweed!’
    • ‘As milkweed dies, surviving butterflies begin their long, unwavering flights back to the sheltered groves that safeguarded their ancestors.’
    • ‘‘Common milkweed and other closely related plant species are the sole food source of monarch larvae, or caterpillars,’ he says.’
    • ‘Endowed with an insatiable appetite for milkweed, and almost always in close proximity to the plant, these larvae eventually turn into butterflies and continue flying north.’
    • ‘Serious cuts could be treated with the sap of red milkweed, and a beverage brewed from the plant called mouse's tail reportedly lowered blood pressure.’
  • 2

    (also milkweed butterfly)
    another term for monarch butterfly

    • ‘This is sometimes called the ‘milkweed butterfly’ because its larvae dine exclusively on this plant.’