Spring 2001 Root Transplants

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Milkweed Rhizome Harvest and Planting

On March 8, 2001, common milkweed (A. syriaca) rhizomes were harvested from a local farm in McDonough County, IL. Approximately 150 lbs. of rhizomes were collected in a single day with the help of a track-hoe. Rhizomes were trimmed to 12 inches in length and planted utilizing a tree transplanter on March 13, 2001. Rhizomes were planted end to end, in six 100-foot rows, spaced 30 inches apart at the WIU research farm in Macomb, IL. The primary goals of this project are to (1) study the feasibility of rhizome planting to establish commercial fields of milkweed for floss production and (2) establish a mature milkweed stand to supply seeds for following year experiments. By planting rhizomes, the milkweed plants will produce follicles this summer, where as if seeds were planted, follicles would not be produced until the second year of growth. 

Rhizome harvest (March 8, 2001)

Track-hoe made easy work of rhizome harvest

Harvested rhizomes

Rhizomes were cut to12 inch lengths

Rhizome planting with tree transplanter

Rhizome planting (March 13, 2001)

Emerged plantlets. Nearly 70-80%
emergence from planted milkweed rhizomes. 
Picture (6/11/2001)

Close-up of plantlets from rhizomes. 
Picture (6/11/2001)

Maturing plants in bloom. Picture (7/27/2001)

Milkweed flower (7/27/2001)


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Last revised: October 19, 2012