ASCLEPIAS syriaca (Common Milkweed) is a species of milkweed native to North America. It is a tall, herbaceous perennial plant that can grow up to 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall. The leaves are large and oval-shaped, measuring up to 8 inches (20 cm) long and 4 inches (10 cm) wide. They are dark green on the upper surface and a lighter shade of green on the underside.
Asclepias syriaca has sweet-smelling pink to white flowers. It is an attractive plant for wildlife. It is a weedy plant that is found in open woods and fields. A familiar and friendly wildflower, Common Milkweed spreads aggressively, and will delight the nectar-loving Monarch Butterflies with its soft pink blooms. A good choice for your large butterfly garden or wildflower meadow! Categorized as a perennial flowering plant in USDA Zone: 3a-9b
The flowers of Common Milkweed are pink to lavender in color and grow in large, rounded clusters at the ends of the stems. They are shaped like a shallow bowl and have five petals that curve backwards. The flowers bloom from late spring to mid-summer and are an important nectar source for many species of butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.
After the flowers have bloomed, Common Milkweed produces large, oblong seed pods that can grow up to 5 inches (12 cm) long. The pods are covered in a prickly surface and are filled with numerous flat, brown seeds that are attached to a silky, white fluff. When the pods mature, they split open to release the seeds, which are dispersed by the wind.
Common Milkweed is a popular plant in gardens and natural areas because of its attractive flowers and its role in supporting pollinators. It is also an important host plant for the monarch butterfly, which lays its eggs on the leaves. The larvae then feed on the leaves before pupating and emerging as adult butterflies.
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Scientific name: Asclepias syriaca
Common name: Common Milkweed
Plant type: Herbaceous perennial
Native range: Eastern North America
Full growth height: 1.5 meters
Width in across: 0 ft. 8 in.
Exposure: Full sun
Blooming season: June to August
Flower: Showy, fragrant
Pollinators: Bees, insects, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies)
Flower color: Pink, mauve, white
Tolerate: Deer, drought, erosion, dry Soil, shallow-rocky soil
Water requirement: Dry to medium
Soil type: Well drained soil
Zones: 3 to 9