Asclepias syriaca: 5’ high x 1’ wide / full sun to light shade / zone 3
Milkweed is a common and woefully underutilized wild edible. The shoots, unopened flower buds, and unripe pods (when they’re up to about an inch in length) all make excellent vegetables when cooked for about 10 minutes. It’s also a great fibre plant; the fluff from the pods is used in pillows, jackets and comforters, and has a higher insulation value than goose down. It is the primary food of the now-threatened Monarch butterfly.