The plant contains cardiac glycosides, allied to digitalins used in treating some heart disease. These glycosides, when absorbed by monarch butterfly larvae whose sole source of food is milkweed foliage, make the larvae and adult butterflies toxic to birds and other predators. It was interesting to read that all milkweed are "probably somewhat toxic, some fatally so, to both humans and animals." Photo taken July 13, 2009.
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