33 Forms of NATIVE Milkweed You Can Plant (2023)


“What sorts of milkweed ought to I plant in my backyard?”

Common Milkweed in United States

This may increasingly look like a loopy query when you’re simply getting began with native gardening. Why would you need to plant a weed?!

However milkweed isn’t a weed in any respect. As an alternative, it’s a flowering plant that draws butterflies (suppose Monarchs), native bees, and different pollinating bugs, which is a superb factor!

This text gives you details about frequent sorts of milkweed in your space and which of them will probably be finest on your backyard.

You’ll discover a USDA Hardiness Zone for lots of the Milkweed crops within the article. This refers to areas of the US the place crops do finest, based mostly on temperature. Here’s a map exhibiting the hardiness zones of the USA:

Hardiness Zones in the USA vary from 1a to 13b.

#1. Widespread Milkweed 

Types of Milkweed found in United States

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Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 3 to five ft; as much as 8 ft.
  • Bloom Time: June to August


Widespread Milkweed is the species most individuals consider after they hear the title milkweed. It’s a hardy perennial and one of the vital frequent sorts of milkweed in the USA.


Milkweed will get its title from the latex or milky white secretions produced if the stem or leaves are damaged. The leaves are oval, about six to eight inches lengthy, and darkish inexperienced.

Milkweed species that live in United States

The blooms of the Widespread Milkweed plant are clusters of tiny flowers on stems that radiate from the bigger central stem. These clusters are referred to as umbels. The aromatic flowers are greenish-pink, pink, or purple and provides method to 4-inch seed pods within the late summer season and early fall. Initially, the pods are inexperienced however slowly mature to brown. Finally, they cut up open, revealing seeds and fluffy white materials referred to as coma that permits the seeds to disperse on the wind.


Widespread Milkweed is an extremely essential wildflower in the USA.

Over 450 native bugs feed on the nectar, sap, leaves, and flowers. As well as, it’s an essential meals supply for caterpillars of the Monarch Butterfly (Danuas plexippus). The grownup butterflies lay their eggs completely on members of the milkweed (Asclepias) household.

Common Milkweed species in United States

Apparently, all milkweed species include cardiac glycoside compounds. Monarch Butterflies and different bugs eat milkweed and retailer the compounds of their our bodies. Potential predators have discovered to avoid Monarchs to keep away from this harmful and bitter poison!


Widespread Milkweed is comparatively straightforward to develop, and it’s one of many best methods you possibly can assist help Monarch Butterflies. You’ll want a spot that receives full solar for planting. Widespread Milkweed does finest in well-drained areas however isn’t choosy about soil and may be grown in clay, loamy, or sandy areas. They tolerate poor soils and don’t should be fertilized. It’s important by no means to make use of pesticides on these crops since they kill species like Monarch Butterflies.


Widespread Milkweed can unfold by seed, or underground rhizomes, that are root colonies. This implies you possibly can add Widespread Milkweed to your backyard by immediately sowing seeds or planting cuttings from an present plant.


#2. Whorled Milkweed

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Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-10
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 1 to three ft
  • Bloom Time: Could to September


Whorled Milkweed is essentially the most broadly distributed milkweed species in the USA.


This distinctive perennial is usually neglected by gardeners who need to plant milkweed. In comparison with different varieties, it has a slender stem and spiky leaves organized in a spiral sample. When not in bloom, it simply blends in amongst grasses.

It blooms from Could to September, forming flat-topped clusters of small greenish-white flowers on the tip of every stem. The flowers appeal to numerous bugs, together with bees, wasps, butterflies, skippers, beetles, and flies.


Whorled Milkweed continues to be a welcome host plant for Monarch Butterfly caterpillars regardless of its distinctive look. Since this species is likely one of the final milkweeds to die again within the fall, it’s a fantastic late-season host for Monarchs making ready emigrate south!


This delicate-looking wildflower can simply develop from seed, however it could not flower the primary 12 months. It may be grown in full solar or partial shade. Whorled Milkweed thrives in numerous habitats, together with fields, pastures, roadsides, dry prairies, dry slopes, woodlands, and meadows. Sadly, it’s extremely toxic to livestock and is taken into account a nuisance weed in agricultural areas.

It grows finest in dry soil of varied varieties, together with sandy, rocky, and clay soils. It will also be grown in moist, common backyard soil. Understand that it’s an aggressive spreader by seeds and underground rhizomes, so you might not need to select this milkweed in case you have a restricted space for gardening.


#3. Desert Milkweed

Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-11
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 1.5 to 4 ft
  • Bloom Time: Could to July


Because the title suggests, this species is often present in desert areas. Desert Milkweed usually grows on dry slopes and washes. The stems are yellow to inexperienced and broader on the base.


Figuring out this species may be tough as there’s some variation within the leaves. They develop in pairs on the stem and could also be utterly easy or densely lined in cream-colored hair. They’re usually boring grayish or pale to darkish inexperienced. Desert Milkweed blooms from Could to July, forming rounded umbels or clusters of about 20 small flowers atop the stems. The flowers are white, cream, or yellow.

Desert Milkweed is sort of adaptable and may be grown from seed in lots of dwelling gardens. It wants well-drained sandy soils in areas with low natural matter. It must be planted in full solar. Like different milkweeds, its massive taproot provides it glorious drought tolerance.


This species is a number plant for the Monarch Butterfly, Queen Butterfly, Clio Tiger Moth, and Euchaetes Zella Moth. The blooms additionally appeal to a wide range of pollinators, together with native bees.


#4. Butterfly Weed

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Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 2 to three ft
  • Bloom Time: Could to September


Butterfly Weed is a showy member of the milkweed household. Typically referred to as Orange Milkweed, this perennial wildflower options massive flat-topped clusters of tiny flowers that develop 2 to five inches throughout. The blooms are sensible orange or yellow.


Apparently, its darkish inexperienced leaves and stems don’t produce the identical milky sap as different species of milkweed in the USA.


Butterfly Weed is a superb alternative for gardens and or wildflower meadows. The attractive flowers are aromatic and are perfect for minimize flower preparations. In addition they appeal to native bees, butterflies, and honeybees to your backyard. Butterfly Weed can also be a number plant for Monarch, Grey Hairstreak, and Queen butterfly caterpillars.

This native flower is a good low-maintenance alternative for the house gardener. Butterfly Weed’s deep taproots imply you’ll by no means must water it as soon as it’s established. As well as, this plant is very drought tolerant and thrives in full solar. Butterfly Weed additionally does advantageous with none fertilization however grows finest in rocky or sandy soil.


Not like Widespread Milkweed, this species doesn’t transplant effectively and must be began from seed.


#5. Purple Milkweed

Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 2 to three ft
  • Bloom Time: Could to July


Purple Milkweed is likely one of the most vibrantly colourful species of milkweed in the USA!


It produces an exquisite, rounded cluster of vivid purple flowers. The flowers are aromatic and appeal to numerous nectar-seeking bugs, together with Monarchs and plenty of different butterflies.

Sadly, this species of milkweed is taken into account endangered or of particular concern in components of its vary. This lovely wildflower is a vital host species for Monarch Butterfly caterpillars which feed on the leaves. Search for Purple Milkweed in open woodlands, ridges, thickets, meadows, prairie openings, stream banks, and moist meadows within the wild.


Within the backyard, it’s straightforward to domesticate in common, well-drained soil. It does effectively in poor-quality or dry soils and may be very drought-tolerant as soon as established. Purple Milkweed thrives in full solar and can unfold by seeds and underground rhizomes. It usually kinds intensive colonies, so ensure you have loads of area when you select this milkweed!


#6. White Milkweed

Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: As much as 3 ft
  • Bloom Time: Could to July


White Milkweed has distinctive, spherical clusters of about 30 small, white flowers. At first, the flower buds are inexperienced however flip white earlier than blossoming. There are tinges of purple on the base, which is why this perennial can also be referred to as Redring Milkweed. The flowers are stuffed with nectar and have a candy perfume that draws bees, wasps, butterflies, and ants.


Not like many milkweed species that want full solar, White Milkweed usually grows in open woodland and alongside woodland edges. Nonetheless, in the backyard, it thrives in areas with partial shade and creates a snowball impact with its attractive spherical clusters of white flowers.

Sadly, this milkweed species is endangered in components of its vary, however it may be cultivated from seed. White Milkweed is adaptable to many climates however does finest in sandy or rocky, well-drained soil.


White Milkweed doesn’t usually type massive colonies in a pure setting, in contrast to different milkweed species. Mixed with its tendency to develop in partial shade, this shortage means it isn’t a crucial host plant for Monarch butterfly caterpillars. Nonetheless, they may sometimes use it in a backyard setting. Different bugs like bees, tussock caterpillars, and native butterflies will even be interested in White Milkweed.


#7. Poke Milkweed

Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 2 to six ft
  • Bloom Time: Could to August


Poke Milkweed’s flower clusters are pendulous, hanging down from the plant like a weeping willow. They usually have about ten flowers, white with a inexperienced or lavender tinge. The leaves of the Poke Milkweed plant are darkish inexperienced with purplish veins that stand out.


Not like many milkweed species in the USA, Poke Milkweed is commonly present in partial shade.


This species may be grown in partial shade to full daylight within the backyard. It prefers soil with average moisture and wealthy natural materials. It may be grown efficiently in lots of dwelling gardens and is simple to begin from seed.


Poke Milkweed is a superb addition to any butterfly lover’s backyard. It’s a number plant for the caterpillars of Monarchs, Nice Spangled Fritillaries, Tiger Swallowtails, Skippers, and Pearl Crescents. Its blooms additionally appeal to numerous different bees and butterflies.


#8. Inexperienced Comet Milkweed

Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-10
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 1.5 to 2 ft
  • Bloom Time: June to September


Inexperienced Comet Milkweed flower clusters type within the pocket created by the higher leaves. They’re made up of 20 to 80 small, pale inexperienced flowers. Apparently, the yellowish-green leaves of this species range in form relying upon their habitat. Crops from moist websites are likely to have rounder leaves, whereas crops from dry websites have lengthy, slender leaves.


Within the wild, this species is commonly discovered on shaded roadsides, savannas, and prairies with moist to dry soil. Within the backyard, you possibly can develop Inexperienced Comet Milkweed from seeds. It grows finest in gentle to average shade however will tolerate full solar. Medium-dry to dry soil is finest. Inexperienced Comet Milkweed doesn’t want wealthy soil and can tolerate sandy or rocky soil with low natural matter.


This species is an efficient alternative for low-maintenance gardens as its lengthy taproot permits it to tolerate drought effectively. Not like many different milkweeds, this species is simple to forestall from spreading. It doesn’t type the big colonies typical to different milkweeds, so it’s a wonderful possibility for smaller gardens!


The Inexperienced Comet Milkweed’s copious nectar and candy perfume appeal to many pollinators, together with honeybees, native bees, and butterflies. It’s additionally a number plant for Monarch Butterflies, although it may be more difficult for monarchs to search out due to its shortage and choice for partial shade.


#9. Showy Milkweed

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Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-8
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 1.5 to three ft; sometimes as much as 6 ft
  • Bloom Time: Could to September


Because the title suggests, Showy Milkweed options flashy pink and white umbels or clusters of small flowers. The flowers are aromatic, and particular person flowers look a bit like crowns. In preferrred circumstances, Showy Milkweed might develop as tall as 6 ft!

As a backyard plant, Showy Milkweed has the advantage of being a much less aggressive spreader than most different milkweed varieties in the USA. It may be grown simply from seed or the cuttings of an present plant. It’s very drought tolerant and may be grown in a variety of soils.


Like different milkweeds, Showy Milkweed attracts native bugs and Monarch Butterflies to your yard or backyard. Monarchs will go to the flowers for nectar and lay eggs on the crops, that are host crops for the Monarch caterpillars. It would additionally appeal to lovely Queen and Viceroy butterflies to your property!


#10. Inexperienced Milkweed

Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 4-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 10 inches to 2 ft
  • Bloom Time: April to September


Within the wild, Inexperienced Milkweed may be discovered rising on prairies, roadsides, clearings, ditches, and disturbed roadsides. It thrives in dry areas with limestone soils and grows in massive clusters.


Usually, one Inexperienced Milkweed stem will produce a single cluster of small flowers. The flowers are white or yellow-green with a purple tinge. Bigger crops might have a number of clusters on one stem.


Inexperienced Milkweed may be simply grown from seed in dwelling gardens. It’s tolerant of sunshine shade however does finest in areas that obtain full solar. Its massive taproot provides it glorious drought resistance. Sow it in areas with well-drained sandy or rocky soil for finest outcomes.


This is likely one of the first species of milkweed in the USA to die again in late summer season.


This makes it much less interesting to Monarchs and different moths and butterflies as a number plant than different species. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless typically used, and resident butterflies and different pollinators frequent its flowers for nectar.


#11. Aquatic Milkweed

Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-11
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 1.5 to 2 ft
  • Bloom Time: Could to September


Aquatic Milkweed can solely develop in areas the place the soil is repeatedly moist! Subsequently, it may be present in floodplains, waterway margins, marshes, cypress swamps, ditches, and wetlands within the wild. This perennial is well recognized by the big pink spot on the tip of the unopened flowers.


Aquatic Milkweed produces umbels with about 25 flowers. The flowers are usually white or gentle pink.

Though it has pretty particular necessities, Aquatic Milkweed may be grown in dwelling gardens in the correct local weather. It wants full daylight and repeatedly moist soil. It’s a wonderful alternative for planting round water options and moist areas.


This species is a number for Monarch, Queen, and Soldier Butterfly caterpillars which eat the plant’s leaves. Bees, butterflies, and different pollinators are additionally interested in the plant’s aromatic flowers.


#12. Antelope Horns

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Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 5-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 1 to 2 ft
  • Bloom Time: March to October


Antelope Horns, also called spider flower, tends to sprawl towards the bottom as an alternative of standing upright. The stems of this milkweed are green-tinged with maroon and densely lined in tiny hairs.


This milkweed species will get its title from its comparatively distinctive seed pods. The curved, upturned pods are thought to resemble antelope horns. When considered from a distance, these crops resemble a area of antelope. The leaves are slender, as much as 8 inches lengthy, and fold inward alongside the center vein. Search for the whitish-green or purple flower clusters throughout its lengthy blooming season.

Like different milkweeds, Antelope Horns’ flowers appeal to a wide range of pollinators. Massive native bee species commonly go to the blooms. The crops are additionally hosts for Monarch, Soldier, and Queen butterfly caterpillars.


This species is comparatively straightforward to develop from seed. Antelope Horns want full solar to thrive and like sandy or rocky soil with little natural matter. It’s a fantastic low-maintenance alternative, and it thrives with none fertilization and little watering attributable to its massive taproot.


#13. Narrowleaf Milkweed

Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-10
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 1 to three ft
  • Bloom Time: June to September


Narrowleaf Milkweed, typically referred to as Mexican Whorled Milkweed in the USA, is commonly seen rising in massive teams. It has a way more delicate, grass-like look than Widespread Milkweed.


It’s most conspicuous when it’s in bloom, from June via September. The blooms are upright clusters of about 20 small flowers. The flowers are variable in coloration, from greenish to pink, white, and even purple. The skinny, spiky leaves are organized in a spiral across the stem. Starting in July, seed pods change the blooms. The seed pods are slender, skinny, easy, and lengthy. They cut up down the aspect and launch wind-borne gentle brown seeds and coma when mature.


Within the wild, Narrowleaf Milkweed is often discovered within the dry climates of plains, foothills, valleys, and roadsides. Within the backyard, it may be began from seed and is a good low-maintenance plant. It thrives in areas with full solar and is drought-tolerant.


This species is a number plant for the caterpillars of Monarch and Queen Butterflies and Isabella Tiger, Clio Tiger, Hitched Arches, and Euchaetes Zella moths Numerous different pollinators like bumblebees and wasps additionally go to the plant’s blooms.


#14. Swamp Milkweed

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Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 3-6
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 3 to five ft
  • Bloom Time: June to October


Because the title suggests, this moisture-loving perennial is often discovered rising wild on creek banks and ditches or in openings in swamps, bogs, marshes, and different moist areas. So if you’re searching for a plant for the moist spot in your yard, Swamp Milkweed is an ideal alternative.


This species thrives in moist, mucky clay soils. It’s nice for planting round ponds or streams in your property. This species requires full solar to thrive and spreads via each seeds and underground rhizomes.


Like different milkweeds in the USA, the blooms are clusters of smaller flowers. The sunshine pink, purple, or white flowers of Swamp Milkweed will appeal to numerous species of native bees and butterflies to your backyard. It’s additionally a number plant for monarch butterfly caterpillars.


#15. California Milkweed

Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 7-10
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 1.5 to three ft
  • Bloom Time: April to July


The California Milkweed is a perennial herb with a singular, wooly look. The boring grayish-green stems and leaves are thickly lined in white hairs.


The blooms of this species are pendulous, drooping clusters of about ten small pink or lavender flowers. The wool-like hair discovered on the stems and leaves is current in every single place however the flower head.

Within the wild, California Milkweed grows on dry slopes, canyons, chaparral, or woodland foothills. It does effectively in scorching, dry circumstances. California Milkweed must be grown in full solar as a result of it doesn’t tolerate even partial shade. As a result of its massive taproot, it’s extraordinarily drought tolerant as soon as established and thrives in a variety of soils, together with sand and clay. It does finest in well-drained soil.


If you happen to’re searching for a plant that may tolerate scorching, dry climate and appeal to pollinators, California Milkweed may be good! Its flowers appeal to a wide range of bee and butterfly species. California Milkweed can also be a number plant for Monarch Butterfly, Queen Butterfly, and Clio Tiger Moth caterpillars.


#16. Sandhill Milkweed

Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 6-11
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 1 to three ft
  • Bloom Time: March to June


Sandhill Milkweed in the USA has a fairly distinctive development behavior. Its Latin title “humistrata” means low rising or sprawling, which is an ideal description for Sandhill Milkweed, which grows flat or practically flat alongside the bottom. It’s usually discovered inside or adjoining to open forests and grows in areas with very dry sandy soils that obtain full daylight.


This species produces clusters of about 30 flowers. The cream, white, or gentle pink flowers give method to easy, erect seed pods 3 to six inches lengthy. When mature, they cut up and launch brown seed and white coma.


Sandhill Milkweed may be propagated from seeds or cuttings and is comparatively low upkeep. It must be planted in areas with dry sandy soil that obtain full solar or practically full solar.


This milkweed species is a number to Monarch and Queen Butterfly caterpillars that feed on the plant’s leaves. Sandhill Milkweed flowers additionally appeal to numerous pollinators and are a favourite of native bees.


#17. Zizotes Milkweed

Rising Info:

  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 7-9
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Approximate Mature Dimension: 1 to 1.5 ft
  • Bloom Time: March to September


This species can also be recognized merely as Zizotes or “hierba de zizotes.” It’s the least hardy species of milkweed in the USA and requires a heat local weather to outlive.


The greenish-white flowers of the Zizotes Milkweed are notable for his or her lengthy, slender hoods, which lengthen up and over the central column making this species straightforward to determine in bloom. The person flowers appear to be tiny champagne flutes!


This species can develop within the wild in prairies, fields, desert grasslands, pinyon-juniper woodlands, and ditches with sandy or rocky soil. At dwelling gardens, Zizotes Milkweed may be grown from seed. Nonetheless, this species doesn’t tolerate shade and must be planted in full solar with dry, sandy soil.


This milkweed species is particularly notable as a result of it could possibly survive periodic droughts and even occasional mowing. Consequently, it’s a simple method to incorporate pollinator-friendly, native crops into your panorama. As well as, like different milkweeds, this species is a vital host plant for the caterpillars of Monarchs.

#18. Clasping Milkweed

Asclepias amplexicaulis. (2023, July 1). In Wikipedia.

Clasping Milkweed is a reasonably uncommon species. It’s named for its attribute leaves, which wrap round or clasp the stem.

Clasping Milkweed has thick waxy leaves, that are an adaptation to their habitat. They maintain further moisture, permitting the plant to outlive extreme droughts. Clasping Milkweed grows in prairies, open savannas, meadows, and different pure areas with few or extensively spaced timber.

Not like most different milkweed species in the USA, Clasping Milkweed options only a single rounded cluster of about 25 massive, aromatic flowers. The person flowers are often pinkish or purplish with some inexperienced or cream in them with petals which can be bent backward.

Clasping Milkweed has very particular habitat wants. This perennial grows finest in full daylight in areas with dry, sandy, or gravelly soil and little competitors from different perennials.

#19. 4-leaved Milkweed

four leaved milkweed

4-leaved Milkweed, additionally referred to as Whorled Milkweed, will get its title from its leaves that develop in whorls of 4 across the center part of the stem. The person leaves are pointed at each ends and egg-shaped to lanceolate.

Whereas not uncommon in the USA, it’s a lesser-known and harder-to-find milkweed species! Not like a lot of its extra frequent cousins, 4-leaved Milkweed is a forest-dweller. You may often discover 4-leaved Milkweed rising in open, dry, rocky woodlands, slopes, and ridges.

In Could or June, 4-leaved Milkweed blooms with 1 to three rounded clusters of pale pink or white flowers from the tip of the plant. The flowers could also be upright or drooping. The flowers give method to easy, inexperienced seed pods.

#20. Tall Inexperienced Milkweed

  • Asclepias hirtella
    ascelpias hirtella

Often known as Prairie Milkweed, this single-stemmed perennial grows as much as 3 ft (1 m) tall. Like different milkweeds, the leaves and stems have white, latex-like sap.

Tall Inexperienced Milkweed has flower clusters that look a bit like inexperienced pom-poms. Every plant usually produces clusters of 30 to 100 tiny, greenish-white flowers, greater than most different milkweed species. The flowers type alongside the size of the stem.

You’ll doubtless discover this milkweed species in the USA rising in prairies and different open habitats like rocky glades, roadsides, sandy wetland edges, pastures, and deserted fields. Tall Inexperienced Milkweed thrives in areas with full solar and well-drained soil.

#21. Prairie Milkweed

  • Asclepias sullivantii
    prairie milkweed

Additionally referred to as Sullivant’s Milkweed or Clean Milkweed, this perennial grows from deep rhizomes. Search for a plant with one to a few dome-shaped clusters of pinkish or purplish flowers.

In some areas, Prairie Milkweed is listed as threatened. It initially grew in native tallgrass prairies, which had been largely destroyed with the unfold of recent agriculture.

At present, you’ll discover Prairie Milkweed rising in meadows, prairies, and different open areas in the USA. It does effectively in moist areas like river bottomland however can’t tolerate degraded soils. Most of the remaining patches of Prairie Milkweed develop in preserved patches of tall grass prairie that develop alongside railroads.

#22. Fewflower Milkweed

fewflower milkweed

Fewflower Milkweed grows to a shocking 3 to five ft tall and options gorgeous clusters of fiery orange flowers. These tall, slender crops are robust to identify and virtually invisible of their native panorama till they bloom!

Nonetheless, Fewflower Milkweed nonetheless options the tell-tale white sap of the milkweed genus. Like different milkweeds in the USA, it’s a vital supply of meals for Monarch, Queen, and Soldier caterpillars which can be specifically tailored to feed on milkweeds’ poisonous sap.

This delicate perennial grows in swamps, moist pinelands, coastal prairies, ditches, and contemporary and brackish marshes. It does effectively in areas which can be seasonally inundated with water.

#23. Longleaf Milkweed

longleaf milkweed

Longleaf Milkweed is a slender, unbranched perennial. Because the title suggests, the leaves are sometimes for much longer than different milkweed species. The leaves additionally assist set this species aside as every plant has a lot of leaves, so many who they’re not simply countable at a look.

Often, Longleaf Milkweed blooms within the spring, however sometimes, you’ll see it blooming in summer season or early fall. The flowers type in clusters on the prime of the plant’s stem. The person flowers are greenish with white corollas tinged with purple.

Longleaf Milkweed grows in the USA in bogs, moist to moist flatwoods, and prairies. It prefers full solar however will tolerate partial shade. Sadly, Longleaf Milkweed is uncommon or extinct in components of its former vary.

#24. Broadleaf Milkweed

Look at a Broadleaf Milkweed from a distance, and you might suppose you’ve noticed a cabbage plant reasonably than a milkweed! Their massive, rounded, thick, darkish inexperienced leaves give the plant its title and distinctive look. However each the leaves and the stems include the milky sap that helps determine any milkweed species.

Clusters of cream, pale inexperienced, or yellowish flowers type alongside the stem and are sometimes virtually hidden by the leaves. The flowers give method to pairs of erect, massive, easy seed pods. The seed pods mature from inexperienced to brown and cut up open to launch flattened brown seeds, every hooked up to a silky pappus that the wind disperses.

Broadleaf Milkweed in the USA grows alongside trails, railroad right-of-ways, roadsides, and in desert scrub, pinyon-juniper woodlands, disturbed areas, and overgrazed pastures. The crops’ massive, thick leaves assist them to thrive in full solar and dry soil.

#25. Oval-leaved

© Sean Frey

This lesser-known milkweed plant may be difficult to identify in the USA! The slender, unbranched stems don’t develop very tall, making them mix in with the encircling crops. Search for it rising in dry soil in prairies, savannas, dry riparian terraces, and open pine woodlands.

Because the title suggests, Oval-leaved Milkweed has reverse, oval-shaped leaves which can be a little bit broader on the base and slender to the tip.

Oval-leaved Milkweeds often flower between Could and July. Usually, the flowers are white with some pale inexperienced or pinkish-purple tones and infrequently fade to yellow with age.

The flowers give method to slender, spindle-shaped pods. These erect pods mature to brown and cut up open alongside one aspect to launch brown seeds with silky pappuses which can be unfold by the wind.

#26. Horsetail Milkweed

  • Asclepias subverticillata

horsetail milkweed

This milkweed has a fragile, feathery look, with slender leaves forming in whorls. You may spot Horsetail Milkweed blooming all through the summer season, between Could and September. Search for clusters of little white, greenish, or purplish star-shaped flowers.

The flowers give method to slender, erect seed pods. The seed pods cut up open upon maturity and launch brown seeds with silky pappuses that disperse on the wind. The Zuni individuals historically gathered these seed pods and spun the fibers of the pappuses to make clothes.

Yow will discover Horsetail Milkweed in the USA rising in sandy or rocky plains, mesas, desert slopes, and alongside roadsides. Like different milkweeds, the Horsetail Milkweed is a vital larval host plant for a number of butterfly species.

#27. Humboldt Mountain Milkweed

humboldt mountain milkweed

Along with Humboldt Mountain Milkweed, you might hear this species referred to as Phallid Milkweed, Jewel Milkweed, Prostrate Milkweed, or Cow-Cabbage. A few of these names mirror its uncommon look. 🙂

Humboldt Mountain Milkweed is a low-growing or drooping perennial with massive, thick, heart-shaped, cabbage-like leaves. The flower clusters on the prime of the stem appear to be jewels within the desert. Search for flowers that characteristic rose-colored hoods and white or yellowish-green petals which can be bent downward. You might spot this plant blooming between April and June.

Humboldt Mountain Milkweed grows finest in the USA in areas with full solar and dry rocky or sandy soil. Yow will discover it on talus slopes, roadsides, canyon bottoms, arid plains, and sandy and rocky washes.

#28. Rush Milkweed

Additionally referred to as Desert Milkweed.

rush milkweed

Rush Milkweed is a singular species that grows many stalks from a single root crown and seems bare for a lot of the rising season! Like many desert perennials, Rush Milkweed solely grows leaves after rain.

Fortunately, Rush Milkweed doesn’t want leaves to acquire power. This horsetail-looking perennial can photosynthesize utilizing the greenish-white tissue that covers its stems.

Amazingly, these crops can produce flowers and seeds with or with out rainfall. Small clusters of about ten distinctive creamy white or yellow flowers type atop the naked stems. The flowers’ corollas are folded again to reveal 5 tiny column-like constructions with little hooks on the prime.

#29. Coronary heart-leaf Milkweed

heart leaf milkweed

Because the title suggests, Coronary heart-leaf Milkweed has massive, heart-shaped leaves. The leaves are oppositely organized and often bluish-green in coloration. Like different milkweeds, splitting a leaf or stem will launch a milky white sap.

Typically, you might hear Coronary heart-leaf Milkweed referred to as “Purple Milkweed.” This becoming title refers back to the a number of clusters of darkish purple or purple flowers that type on two-year-old crops.

Native People managed and harvested this milkweed for its fiber to make rope and clothes. Archeologists discovered a 40-foot-long deer created from about 7,000 ft of Coronary heart-leaf Milkweed that will have required harvesting over 35,000 crops!

At present, you could find Coronary heart-leaf Milkweed rising in the USA in dry, rocky areas in deserts, plains, woodlands, chaparral, and evergreen forests. It would develop within the mountains as much as about 6,560 ft.

#30. Plains Milkweed

© Jared Shorma

This little milkweed is a creeping perennial that often grows lower than a foot tall. At first look, Plains Milkweed might look extra like rosemary than milkweed! It has small, skinny, linear, whorled, or dense alternately-arranged leaves rising up its stems.

Search for Plains Milkweed in the USA in dry, rocky, or sandy prairies or grasslands. Between July and September, globe-shaped clusters of small pink-to-white flowers type on the tip of every stem and typically within the axils of the higher leaves.

Along with being a larval host plant for Monarch, Queen, and Soldier Butterflies, Plains Milkweed can also be an essential nectar supply for numerous moths and butterflies, together with Clarks Sphinx Moths, Milkweed Tussock Moths, Carus Skippers, Jap Tiger Swallowtails, and Falcate Metalmark Butterflies.

#31. Savannah Milkweed

© Jason Ksepka

Savannah Milkweed is likely one of the smallest milkweed species in the USA, reaching simply 0.5 to 1 foot tall! With its small dimension and greenish-yellow flowers, it blends in effectively with different herbaceous crops and is simple to miss, even for devoted naturalists.

Bugs discover it fairly engaging, although! It’s a larval host for Monarch, Queen, and Soldier butterflies. The blooms seem from late summer season to early fall and are additionally a favourite for pollinators like bees, wasps, and butterflies.

As their title suggests, this milkweed grows in savannahs, prairies, and open pineland habitats. It thrives in full solar to partial shade with moist, well-drained sandy soil.

#32. Pineneedle Milkweed

Asclepias linaria. (2023, September 19). In Wikipedia.

Pineneedle Milkweed is likely one of the bigger milkweed species in the USA, reaching a shocking 5 ft tall!

As you in all probability guessed, it’s named for its skinny, tender pine-needle-like leaves. These narrowly linear leaves are alternately organized up the complete stems. It kinds small clusters of creamy white or greenish-white flowers on the ideas of its stems.

Researchers have discovered that this explicit milkweed species is particularly useful for the Monarch Butterfly. Its leaves include excessive cardenolide ranges, which helps the Monarch Butterfly struggle off the OE parasite (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha).

#33. Woollypod Milkweed

Asclepias eriocarpa. (2023, April 22). In Wikipedia.

Woolypod Milkweed is likely one of the most toxic milkweed species in the USA!

This may increasingly not sound like an excellent factor, but it surely’s glorious for Monarchs and different specifically tailored butterflies that use the toxins within the crops to push back predators and parasites.

This erect perennial flowers from late spring to mid-fall. The flowers type in massive, elaborate clusters close to the highest of the plant. The clusters are comprised of many pink, white, or cream-colored flowers.

True to its title, the flowers give method to massive seed pods, which have a thick masking of woolly hairs. These seed pods cut up at maturity to launch seeds that will probably be carried away on the wind because of their silky pappus, a parachute-like attachment.

Woollypod Milkweed thrives in full to partial shade in dry or well-drained soils. It’s fairly drought tolerant, and you might spot it rising in open woodlands, rocky hillsides, deserts, and different dry areas.


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