Redring Milkweed Asclepias variegata LinnaeusSynonyms: White Milkweed.

Status:

Redring Milkweed is a rare milkweed of wooded habitats with records across most of Maryland. Redring Milkweed likes partial shade and can be found growing in open rich woods and forested edges. Unfortunately, this species appears to be in decline and has become rare across the state. The Maryland Biodiversity Project only has two localities (Dorchester, Allegany) for this beautiful milkweed since the turn of the new century. The species may be fire dependent. The locality in Dorchester County lacked any recent Redring Milkweed records until the state burned the property and the milkweed miraculously appeared the next season.

Description:

Redring Milkweed has foliage similar to Common Milkweed. The leaves are petiolate and the flower clusters are pure white. Groups of flowers have been described as snowballs growing in the woods. The lower portion of the flower is encircled in red thus giving this milkweed its common name. The seeds pods of Redring Milkwing stand erect often near the top of the stem.

Relationships:

White-tailed Deer browse may also be an issue with Redring Milkweed. Even though most wildlife do not forage on milkweed, we have observed Redring Milkweed plants at the Dorchester County location that have been obviously deer browsed. One season most of the population was eaten (munched halfway down the stem), resulting in no plants going to seed.

There are 20 records in the project database.

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Redring Milkweed blooming in Dorchester Co., Maryland (6/14/2015). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Redring Milkweed blooming in Dorchester Co., Maryland (6/14/2015). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Redring Milkweed blooming in Dorchester Co., Maryland (6/14/2015). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Redring Milkweed blooming in Dorchester Co., Maryland (6/14/2015). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Redring Milkweed in Somerset Co., Maryland (6/18/1982). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

Redring Milkweed in Somerset Co., Maryland (6/18/1982). Photo by Jim Stasz. (MBP list)

Redring Milkweed in Dorchester Co., Maryland (8/31/2016). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Redring Milkweed in Dorchester Co., Maryland (5/25/2017). Photo by Wayne Longbottom. (MBP list)


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