Lavandula ‘Phenomenal’ #1 (‘Phenomenal’ Lavender)October 27, 2022
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Asclepias viridis #1 (Green Milkweed)
-Average to Dry Soil
-1-2′ Tall by 1-2′ Wide
-Upright, Rhizomatous Growth Habit
-Greenish Flowers in May, June
-Often Summer Dormant
-Rabbit, Deer, Drought Tolerant
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Green Milkweed is an interesting, early-blooming species of milkweed native to the central and southern US. It emerges from dormancy and blooms earlier than the other milkweeds in Ohio, but it can also drop its leaves and go summer dormant. Its use as a Monarch host plant is limited here, since the plants are shutting down at the time that they’re beginning to breed. However, it does still attract all of the other specialist milkweed bugs and it provides an early source of nectar for butterflies, bees and other pollinators. The greenish flowers are unusual and attractive with dusky purple centers. Green Milkweed tends to be short with a restrained spreading habit. They are deeply taprooted and can tolerate drought, dry and poor soils and are not highly competitive.
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.