Pearl Milkweed Vine, Matelea reticulata | (Wild)Flower Friday
I’ve come to really appreciate the milkweed vine species, particularly the more common one in my area, anglepod, aka: Gonolobus suberosus. It grows freely in our yard and in the garden and even gets colonized by oleander aphids like other milkweed species do.
Out in the Texas Hill Country, the pearl milkvine, Matelea reticulata, is more common and a delight to see when hiking in the limestone hills. Endemic to Texas and Mexico, you won’t find this species too far east of I-35, though the USDA Plants Database has one county in east Texas listed that the species is supposedly found–who knows!? iNaturalist only shows central and west Texas and Mexico sightings.
While it is in the milkweed family, theorhetically the milkweed butterflies could use this as a host plant. Some comments on a few blogs I read while trying to do some research (not a ton of info is out there about this species) for this post suggest there is anecdotal evidence of queens and milkweed tussock moth caterpillars using the plant. I’ve never seen them use my anglepod vine but I suspect if it was that or nothing else, they’d go for it!
Nature Watch Austin has a post showing a variety of milkweed vines in the Hill Country area.
My photos are from Pedernales Falls State Park back over the July 4th weekend.
I want in the worst way to see this vine. One of these days. I also want a pair of earrings that look like this, with cloisonné petals and a pearl in the middle.
I’m subscribed to the Nature Watch blog now. Thanks for that!