Asclepias syriaca



If you read the habitat page, you know that Asclepias syriaca can grow in many different habitats. It has also been able to grow in new environments that have been human created, in other words, environments that it was not native to. This indicates that milkweed can adapt very well to many different climates, soil types, and the presence of other organisms. One reason milkweed is able to sustain such a wide variety of habitats is its root system. Milkweed has both horizontal and vertical roots, of which can reach depths of 12.5 feet into the ground (Anderson, 1999). The horizontal roots also produce buds underground, which then become new stalks the following spring. The toxin produced by milkweed comes into play when possible predators are introduced to the scene. Since many animals die from the toxin milkweed produces, they do not feed on this plant. Its ability to self-fertilize also plays a role in its success and adaptability since it does not solely depend on insects for pollination. Milkweed also provides protection for its seeds in pods that are tough, especially when mature.



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