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Asclepias hallii - A.Gray.

Common Name Purple Silkweed, Hall's milkweed
Family Asclepiadaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards Although no specific reports have been seen for this species, many, if not all, members of this genus contain toxic resinoids, alkaloids and cardiac glycosides[274]. They are usually avoided by grazing animals[274].
Habitats Sandy soils of prairies and roadsides[228].
Range Western N. America - Wyoming to Colorado, south to Nevada and S. Arizona.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Asclepias hallii Purple Silkweed, Hall


Asclepias hallii Purple Silkweed, Hall

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Asclepias hallii is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen in September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, insects, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Leaves  Oil  Seed  Seedpod
Edible Uses: Gum  Oil  Sweetener

The following uses have been recorded for A. speciosa, it is fairly safe to assume they can also be applied to this closely related species[K]. Flower buds - raw or cooked[61, 92]. Tasting somewhat like peas[85]. Young shoots and leaves - cooked[46, 61, 62, 92, 95]. An asparagus substitute[85, 183]. They should not be eaten raw[85]. Tips of older shoots are cooked like spinach[85, 183]. Young seed pods, 3 - 4 cm long, cooked. Very appetizing[85]. Flower clusters can be boiled down to make a sugary syrup[85] or they can be eaten raw[161, 183]. Seed - raw[161]. A chewing gum can be made from the latex contained in the stem and leaves[46, 61, 92, 183]. Root[183]. No further details.

Medicinal Uses

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Contraceptive  Warts

The following uses have been recorded for A. speciosa, it is fairly safe to assume they can also be applied to this closely related species[K]. The latex is used as a cure for warts[168]. A tea made from the whole plant has been used as a contraceptive after childbirth[213].

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Other Uses

Dye  Fibre  Gum  Latex  Oil  Paper  Pollution  Stuffing

The following uses have been recorded for A. speciosa, it is fairly safe to assume they can also be applied to this closely related species[K]. A good quality tough fibre is obtained from the bark[92, 99]. It is used in twine, coarse cloth, paper etc[92, 99]. The fibre is 10 - 45mm long[189]. It is easily harvested in late autumn, after the plants have died down, by simply pulling it off the dead stems[168, 169]. When making paper, the stems can be retted by leaving them in the ground until they are dry in the winter or they can be harvested in late summer, the leaves removed and the stems steamed to remove the fibre[189]. The stems are then cooked for two hours with lye and pounded with mallets[189]. The paper colour varies from white to creamy green depending on how the paper is made[189]. If the stems are used in the summer the latex will often find its way onto the fibres and is hard to remove[189]. The seed floss is used to stuff pillows etc or is mixed with other fibres to make cloth[168, 169]. It is a Kapok substitute, used in Life Jackets or as a stuffing material[169]. It is very water repellent. The floss has also been used to mop up oil spills at sea. Rubber can be made from latex contained in the leaves and the stems[57, 92, 112]. The yield is up to 3%[112]. Pods contain an oil and a wax which are of potential importance. A green dye is obtained from the flowers and leaves combined[168].

Cultivation details

Prefers a well-drained light rich or peaty soil and a sunny position[1, 134, 200]. This species is closely related to A. purpurascens[200]. Many members of this genus seem to be particularly prone to damage by slugs. The young growth in spring is especially vulnerable, but older growth is also attacked and even well-established plants have been destroyed in wet years[K]. Plants resent root disturbance and are best planted into their final positions whilst small[134]. The flower of many members of this genus can trap insects between its anther cells, the struggles of the insect in escaping ensure the pollination of the plant[207].

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Propagation

Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in late winter[134, 169]. We have also had good results from sowing the seed in the greenhouse in early spring[K], though stored seed might need 2 - 3 weeks cold stratification[134]. Germination usually takes place in 1 - 3 months at 18°c[134]. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out when they are in active growth in late spring or early summer and give them some protection from slugs until they are growing away strongly. Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. Pot the divisions up and place them in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly, then plant them out in the summer, giving them some protection from slugs until they are established.. Basal cuttings in late spring. Use shoots about 10cm long with as much of their white underground stem as possible. Pot them up individually and place them in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until they are rooting and growing actively. If the plants grow sufficiently, they can be put into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in the greenhouse until the following spring and when they are in active growth plant them out into their permanent positions. Give them some protection from slugs until they are established.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Asclepias asperulaAntelope Horns, Spider milkweed, Trailing Milkweed21
Asclepias brachystephanaBract milkweed00
Asclepias californicaCalifornia Milkweed, Greene's milkweed21
Asclepias currasavicaBlood Flower01
Asclepias decumbens 20
Asclepias eriocarpaWoollypod Milkweed22
Asclepias erosaDesert Milkweed20
Asclepias galioidesBedstraw Milkweed21
Asclepias incarnataSwamp Milkweed, Swamp Butterfly Weed, Marsh Milkweed32
Asclepias involucrataDwarf Milkweed21
Asclepias lanceolataPurple Silkweed, Fewflower milkweed21
Asclepias latifoliaBroadleaf Milkweed01
Asclepias mexicana 10
Asclepias ovalifoliaOval-leaf milkweed20
Asclepias pumilaLow Milkweed, Plains milkweed21
Asclepias purpurascensPurple Milkweed21
Asclepias quadrifoliaFourleaf Milkweed22
Asclepias rubraRed Silkweed31
Asclepias speciosaShowy Milkweed32
Asclepias subulataRush Milkweed01
Asclepias sullivantiiPrairie milkweed00
Asclepias syriacaCommon Milkweed, Silkweed, Milkweed32
Asclepias tuberosaPleurisy Root, Butterfly milkweed, Rolfs' milkweed, Indian Paintbrush33
Asclepias viridifloraGreen Milkweed, Green comet milkweed32

 

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Author

A.Gray.

Botanical References

200228

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