Ashtabula Co. - cottony growth on milkweed

Asked July 16, 2018, 4:32 PM EDT

I’ve just noticed a number of these small, cottony footballs on my common milkweeds. They appear to expand or blend into a larger, less well-defined mass in the flowers. Is this cottony cushion scale? If not, What is it, and how can I get rid of it non-chemically?

Ashtabula County Ohio

2 Responses

Hi there, I have researched a bit on this. It doesn't resemble any cottony cushion scale that I saw in my research. I compared these pods you sent pictures of to my common milkweed in my research and found they look similar to most seed pods of common milkweed. I went to my patch of common milkweed and the seed pods I have are at about the same stage of development as the pods in your picture. I'm going to say they are just seed pods for your plant. If you have raised milkweed for many years know the characteristics of the plant and are not satisfied with my answer. There is a web site I am giving you for a diagnostic clinic attached to OSU in Columbus. This is C.Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic . This site has instruction on sending in a sample and have added an app so pictures of your plant or pest can be sent in for diagnosis. There is a fee for the service. I wish you the best with this.

Thank you for your response. A day after sending this, I looked at the flowers more closely and realized these were fertilized flowers that were developing into seed pods. Duh!