|Longevity: HP (zones 4 to 9)|
This overlooked "weed" is one of our most useful native plants. The young pods and flower buds make a delicious vegetable. The seed-pod fibers have been used as cotton substitutes for bandages and as stuffing in life preservers, among other things. Root tea is laxative, diuretic and expectorant. The milky latex has been used to treat warts and ringworm. The large, ball-shaped clusters of dark pink flowers are attractive, highly fragrant, and a popular feeding place for numerous butterflies. As if all this weren't enough, the leaves are one of the Monarch butterfly caterpillar's favorite foods.