Book: “Urban and Suburban Meadows”February 23, 2023
Asclepias speciosa 1qt (Showy Milkweed)March 18, 2023
Asclepias syriaca 1qt (Common Milkweed)
-Moist to Dry Soil (FACU)
-3-5′ Tall by 1′ Wide
-Upright, Rhizomatous Growth Habit
-Pink Flower Clusters in July, Aug.
-Deer, Drought Tolerant
Out of stock
Common Milkweed is a widespread and conspicuously familiar sight along roadways, railroad tracks, fields and open, disturbed areas across much of North America. It is strongly rhizomatous and often spreads to form large vegetative colonies in favorable conditions. It needs plenty of sun and can thrive in dry, rocky, poor soils, while also having an excellent drought tolerance. Deer and rabbits tend to avoid it because of its toxic milky latex sap, making the establishment of a new milkweed patch fairly easy. This species does want to spread aggressively and should only be planted where this tendency can be appreciated rather than dreaded. For smaller garden areas, Sullivant’s Milkweed or Showy Milkweed are very similar and slower to spread, offering an easier option for management.
Milkweeds are incredibly important plants because they act as a larval host and as a nectar source for adult butterflies and other insects. North America’s celebrity butterfly, the Monarch, lays her eggs on milkweed plants. The distinctive yellow, black and white striped caterpillars eat only the leaves of this genus, making them a vital part of the ecosystem from coast to coast. It also hosts a specialist moth, the Milkweed Tussock Moth, as well as many milkweed beetles and bugs. They are very active plants, always crawling with beautiful and interesting creatures that are drawn to it! Milkweeds are a productive, necessary and worthy group of plants to include in any landscape.
See here for information on creating, conserving, protecting and even registering your Monarch Waystation.
See here for Milkweeds and Monarchs information from the ODNR, Division of Wildlife.
Growing and Propagating Wildflowers by William Cullina
The Midwestern Native Garden by Charlotte Adelman & Bernard L. Schwartz
Missouri Botanical Garden
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
USDA Forest Service