Thursday, June 16, 2011

Milkweed Flowers Recipe

Saltsman's Hotel serves the milkweed casserole at the end of May  until the second week in June...a great place to eat.Saltsman's

Milkweed Au Gratin:

4 cups of Milkweed flowers 
4 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flower
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper

  Cook the Milkweed flower buds in boiling water for nearly 1 minute, then strain and pat dry, and put in a medium metal baking dish. In a skillet melt the butter, stir in the flour and salt and pepper. Make it brown, like a roux which generally takes not more than a minute. Now mix the milk and beat the mixture like you are making gravy. Pour it over the milkweed and put grated cheese on the top. Bake for nearly 10 minutes at 375 degrees on the top rack, and then broil for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

Milkweed Uses 

The milkweed filaments from the follicles are hollow and coated with wax, and have good insulation qualities. Tests have shown them to be superior to down feathers for insulation. During World War II, over 5,000 t (5,500 short tons) of milkweed floss was collected in the United States a substitute for kapok. As of 2007, milkweed is grown commercially as a filling for pillows.
The milkweed flowers have a high dextrose content that the American Indians used to sweeten foods.

The bast fibers of some species were also used for cordage.

Milkweed latex contains about 1 to 2% latex, and was attempted as a source of natural rubber by both Germany and the United States during World War II. No record has been found of large-scale success.

Milkweed is a common folk remedy used for the clotting of small wounds and the removal of warts. Milkweed sap is applied directly to the wart several times daily until the wart falls off. Dandelion sap is often used in the same manner.

Milkweed is beneficial to nearby plants, repelling some pests, especially wireworms.

Milkweed is toxic and may cause death when animals consume 10% of their body weight in any part of the plant. Milkweed also causes mild dermatitis in some who come in contact with it.

Milkweed sap is also externally used as a natural remedy for poison ivy.

Being the sole food source of monarch butterfly larvae, and attracts butterflies in the garden.
Milkweed can be used in ornamental flower bouquets.


  1. What an interesting blog on milk weed au gratin ! I am extremely interested in growing milk weed in my flower garden ! What is the best in your opinion to grow for such as this recipe and a butterfly/caterpillar attractor ? I found wild flower milk weed in the meadows around our home and dug three up and planted in among the "blue Mist" plants...don't know if this is a good thing or not !

  2. I would suggest picking a seed pod in late fall and drying it, storing them, and starting them in the early spring in a seed tray,then transplant. they will spread on their own after that.