Asclepias syriaca

Milkweed

Milkweed

Single stem bearing baseball–size pink blooms followed by soft spiny pod–like fruits. Host plant for Monarch butterfly larvae.

Care Instructions:
Spreads aggressively by runners. Wonderful meadow plant.

Notes:
Plant contains cardiac glycosides which are related to digitalins used to treat some forms of heart disease. When Monarch butterfly larvae ingest the glycosides, they become toxic to birds and other predators. The young leaves and shoots, flower buds and firm seed pods can be cooked and eaten safely but the milky sap of leaves and stems is toxic if ingested in large quantities. The flower heads can be dipped in batter, fried and eaten. Milkweed was once cultivated in Europe for bee fodder and fiber. During World War II the light, waterproof fiber was used as a filling for life jackets.

Colors: Pink

Category: Perennials

Garden(s): First Bloom Meadow

Family: Asclepiadaceae

Zones: 4,5,6,7,8,9

Origin of Species: N. America

For Sale: No

Native New Yorker: Yes

Blooms: July

Height: 60"

Width: 24"

Light: High

Moisture: Low

Other plants in the Asclepiadaceae family

  • Asclepias incarnata, Swamp milkweed
  • Asclepias syriaca, Milkweed

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