Ding, ding, ding. Sarah Prather is the winner of the “Name the Weed” contest announced last week. She correctly identified the mystery flower growing out of my concrete curb as common milkweed.
I looked it up on the internet and sure enough, the photos on line are identical to my own snapshot of the hearty little flower I discovered last week. It continues to thrive despite a steady diet of exhaust fumes and being side swiped by every passing vehicle.
It’s an interesting little specimen which produces a white latex when broken. Failed attempts were made during the last century to extract latex and fiber for industrial use, but there is documentation that the fibers and floss from the stems were used by Native Americans as cordage and textiles.
Parts of the plant are edible, but other parts are highly poisonous. Not knowing which is which I’ll not be harvesting the plant for dinner. I’ll leave it alone and hope it comes back next year and brings a friend.
For her winning entry, Sarah has won a subscription to Food & Family Magazine which is one of my favorite publications. It is a beautifully illustrated magazine full of great recipes and entertaining tips. Of course, all the recipes feature Kraft products, but there is no penalty for substitutions.
I didn’t tell Sarah, but the magazine is free. To receive your own subscription, log onto www.kraftsfoods.com/share – it’s fast and it’s free.