Eastern North America
3 to 9
2.00 to 3.00 feet
0.75 to 1.00 feet
June to August
Pink, mauve, white
Dry to medium
Deer, Drought, Erosion, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil
|Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Drought tolerant. Does well in poor, dryish soils. Easily grown from seed, and will self-seed in the landscape if seed pods are not removed prior to splitting open. Can spread somewhat rapidly by rhizomes. Often forms extensive colonies in the wild.
Asclepias syriaca, commonly called common milkweed, is a rough, weedy Missouri native perennial which commonly occurs in fields, open woods, waste areas, roadsides and along railroad tracks throughout the State (Steyermark). It typically grows 3-4′ (less frequently to 6′) tall on stout, upright stems with thick, broad-oblong, reddish-veined, light green leaves (to 8″ long). Domed, slightly drooping clusters (umbels) of fragrant, pinkish -purple flowers appear mostly in the upper leaf axils over a long bloom period from late spring well into summer. Stems and leaves exude a milky sap when cut or bruised. Flowers give way to prominent, warty seed pods (2-4″ long) which split open when ripe releasing their numerous silky-tailed seeds for dispersal by the wind. Seed pods are valued in dried flower arrangements. Flowers are a nectar source for many butterflies and leaves are a food source for monarch butterfly larvae (caterpillars).
Genus name honors the Greek god Asklepios the god of medicine.
Specific epithet means Syrian.
No serious insect or disease problems. Somewhat weedy and can spread.
Butterfly gardens, meadows, prairies, or naturalized/native plant areas. This plant is considered by many gardeners to be too vigorous and weedy for borders.
|Information on this page is generally from Missouri Botanical Gardens,
Dave’s Garden, All things Plants or Texas Superstar
This page last updated or reviewed 210628