What Is This Plant?

David Trammel's picture

I have a lot of weeds in the garden now, since I've been lax about weeding them out. One viney plant has crawled up my Water Offering, and is now setting some large fruit.

The fruit are 2-3 inches long and very firm.

I left the plant alone since it had very small white flowers which the local bees seemed to like. Before I uproot it and consign it to the green composting trash can, anyone know what this plant is?

ClareBroommaker's picture

That is a vining milkweed. Just because you are not familiar with it, I'd recommend you let a pod or two mature, but remove the other pods now to reduce re-seeding. But you really might enjoy seeing how this plant spreads itself. Open one of the pods now to see how the seeds look in there. The pods turn crispy-brown and slit open along that indented line. The seeds inside have silky fibers on their ends. When the pods first split open the fibers are ivory colored and heavy-damp looking. Then the fibers dry and fluff out. The pods open wide and the seeds go flying in the wind. The silk is really soft. The pods usually remain on the vine (it is an annual) all winter, looking like little canoes. In the beginning the inside of the pods are lustrously pale gold, and as time goes by they may become flakey and acquire spots of mildew. Chances are, the pods will still be clinging to the remains of the vine come spring. To me, the seeds and pods are beautiful, the pods meriting being hung on a Christmas tree.