Bruce Bernard bruce_bernard at
Wed May 13 18:38:10 EDT 1998


So here's my experiences with milkweed germination this year.

I  planted 144 Asclep. fascicularis seeds and 24 Asclep. speciosa.
these seeds were planted into individual cells of planters ( six packs
), two to a cell.

The six packs were then placed into a plastic bin with cover and
placed onto ( above ) a fluorescent light fixture for warmth.

I calculated a 98% germination rate for the fascicularis although I
didn't actually count them. Most seeds germinated in 2 - 3 days, but
there were stragglers coming up 2 weeks later.

The speciosa was a disappointment: one seek germinated after 2
weeks... only 4 percent. 

All the seeds  were started under similar conditions.

I have read that some species of Asclepias require cold storage for
the seeds to be fertile, so I have placed half of my speciosa seeds
into the frig. and will try again in a few weeks.

History: the fascicularis seeds I collected my self with permission of
staff at the Don Edward's San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge
where there is a demonstration native plant and butterfly garden.

The speciosa seeds were purchased through a mail order internet site.

I guess you get what you pay for... as I have spent many hours
volunteering at the refuge gardening and collecting seed for the
refuge nursery and monitoring butterflies in the garden.

Now Some questions! 

How long should I refrigerate the speciosa seeds?

We are collecting data again this year in the garden. 

We have approx 250 hours of observation from last year including
species, numbers seen, plant associated with, temperature, weather,
behavior, life stage...

What else should we be tracking? And how can we use the data? Can
anyone else use our data?

Bruce Bernard 


Bruce_Bernard at

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