milk weed


any of several plants that secrete a milky juice or latex, especially those of the genus Asclepias, as A. syriaca. Compare milkweed family.
any of various other plants having a milky juice, as certain spurges.

1590–1600; milk + weed1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
milkweed (ˈmɪlkˌwiːd)
1.  See also asclepias Also called: silkweed any plant of the mostly North American genus Asclepias, having milky sap and pointed pods that split open to release tufted seeds: family Asclepiadaceae
2.  any of various other plants having milky sap
3.  orange milkweed another name for butterfly weed
4.  another name for monarch

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1598, from milk (n.) + weed; used in ref. to various plants whose juice resembles milk.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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