ASCLEPIAS speciosa (Showy Milkweed) is a species of milkweed native to western North America. It is a herbaceous perennial plant that can grow up to 3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters) tall. The leaves are large and oval-shaped, measuring up to 8 inches (20 cm) long and 6 inches (15 cm) wide. They are a grayish-green color and have a slightly fuzzy texture.
Showy Milkweed will produce beautiful clusters of pale pink flowers, eye-catching furry pale pink to pinkish-purple flowers are arranged in thick umbels, Categorized as a perennial flowering plant in USDA Zone: 3-9
The flowers of Showy Milkweed are pink to lavender in color and grow in 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 mid-spring to mid-summer and are an important nectar source for many species of butterflies, bees, and other pollinators.
After the flowers have bloomed, Showy 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.
Showy 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 speciosa
Common name: Showy Milkweed
Plant type: Herbaceous perennial
Native range: Western North America
Full growth height: 2 to 6 feet
Width in across: 1 to 1.5 feet
Exposure: Full sun
Blooming season: May to June
Pollinators: Bees, insects, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies)
Flower color: Purplish rose
Tolerate: Deer, drought
Water requirement: Dry to medium
Soil type: Clay, loam, sandy
Zones: 3 to 9