33 Varieties 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 appear to be a loopy query for those who’re simply getting began with native gardening. Why would you wish to plant a weed?!

However milkweed isn’t a weed in any respect. As a substitute, it’s a flowering plant that pulls butterflies (assume Monarchs), native bees, and different pollinating bugs, which is a wonderful factor!

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

You’ll discover a USDA Hardiness Zone for most 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 displaying the hardiness zones of the US:

Hardiness Zones in the US 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 once they hear the identify milkweed. It’s a hardy perennial and one of the vital frequent sorts of milkweed in the US.


Milkweed will get its identify 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 time and early fall. Initially, the pods are inexperienced however slowly mature to brown. Finally, they break 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 US.

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 keep away from Monarchs to keep away from this harmful and bitter poison!


Widespread Milkweed is comparatively simple 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 might be grown in clay, loamy, or sandy areas. They tolerate poor soils and don’t have to 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 straight 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: Might to September


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


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

It blooms from Might to September, forming flat-topped clusters of small greenish-white flowers on the top of every stem. The flowers entice 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 without doubt one of the final milkweeds to die again within the fall, it’s an amazing 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 yr. 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 assorted sorts, together with sandy, rocky, and clay soils. It will also be grown in moist, common backyard soil. Take into account that it’s an aggressive spreader by seeds and underground rhizomes, so it’s possible you’ll not wish to select this milkweed you probably 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: Might to July


Because the identify 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 might 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 coated in cream-colored hair. They’re typically boring grayish or pale to darkish inexperienced. Desert Milkweed blooms from Might 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 kind of adaptable and might 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 giant taproot offers it glorious drought tolerance.


This species is a bunch plant for the Monarch Butterfly, Queen Butterfly, Clio Tiger Moth, and Euchaetes Zella Moth. The blooms additionally entice 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: Might to September


Butterfly Weed is a showy member of the milkweed household. Generally referred to as Orange Milkweed, this perennial wildflower options giant 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 US.


Butterfly Weed is a wonderful alternative for gardens and or wildflower meadows. The gorgeous flowers are aromatic and are perfect for minimize flower preparations. In addition they entice native bees, butterflies, and honeybees to your backyard. Butterfly Weed can also be a bunch 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 have to water it as soon as it’s established. As well as, this plant is extremely drought tolerant and thrives in full solar. Butterfly Weed additionally does tremendous with none fertilization however grows finest in rocky or sandy soil.


In contrast to Widespread Milkweed, this species doesn’t transplant properly 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: Might to July


Purple Milkweed is without doubt one of the most vibrantly colourful species of milkweed in the US!


It produces a stupendous, rounded cluster of vibrant purple flowers. The flowers are aromatic and entice 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 stunning 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 simple to domesticate in common, well-drained soil. It does properly in poor-quality or dry soils and could be very drought-tolerant as soon as established. Purple Milkweed thrives in full solar and can unfold by seeds and underground rhizomes. It usually varieties in depth colonies, so ensure you have loads of house for those who 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: Might 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 filled with nectar and have a candy perfume that pulls bees, wasps, butterflies, and ants.


In contrast to many milkweed species that choose full solar, White Milkweed sometimes 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 sometimes type giant 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 drawn to White Milkweed.


#7. Poke Milkweed

Rising Info:

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


Poke Milkweed’s flower clusters are pendulous, hanging down from the plant like a weeping willow. They sometimes 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.


In contrast to many milkweed species in the US, Poke Milkweed is commonly present in partial shade.


This species might 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 start out from seed.


Poke Milkweed is a wonderful addition to any butterfly lover’s backyard. It’s a bunch plant for the caterpillars of Monarchs, Nice Spangled Fritillaries, Tiger Swallowtails, Skippers, and Pearl Crescents. Its blooms additionally entice 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 fluctuate in form relying upon their habitat. Crops from moist websites are inclined to have rounder leaves, whereas crops from dry websites have lengthy, slim 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 effective alternative for low-maintenance gardens as its lengthy taproot permits it to tolerate drought properly. In contrast to 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 superb choice for smaller gardens!


The Inexperienced Comet Milkweed’s copious nectar and candy perfume entice many pollinators, together with honeybees, native bees, and butterflies. It’s additionally a bunch 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: Might to September


Because the identify 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 splendid circumstances, Showy Milkweed could 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 US. It may be grown simply from seed or the cuttings of an present plant. It’s very drought tolerant and might 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’ll additionally entice stunning 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 might be discovered rising on prairies, roadsides, clearings, ditches, and disturbed roadsides. It thrives in dry areas with limestone soils and grows in giant clusters.


Sometimes, 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 could have a number of clusters on one stem.


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


This is without doubt one of the first species of milkweed in the US to die again in late summer time.


This makes it much less interesting to Monarchs and different moths and butterflies as a bunch plant than different species. Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless generally 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: Might to September


Aquatic Milkweed can solely develop in areas the place the soil is constantly moist! Due to this fact, 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 sometimes white or gentle pink.

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


This species is a bunch for Monarch, Queen, and Soldier Butterfly caterpillars which eat the plant’s leaves. Bees, butterflies, and different pollinators are additionally drawn to 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, often known as spider flower, tends to sprawl towards the bottom as a substitute of standing upright. The stems of this milkweed are green-tinged with maroon and densely coated in tiny hairs.


This milkweed species will get its identify 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 subject of antelope. The leaves are slim, 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 entice a wide range of pollinators. Massive native bee species repeatedly go to the blooms. The crops are additionally hosts for Monarch, Soldier, and Queen butterfly caterpillars.


This species is comparatively simple to develop from seed. Antelope Horns want full solar to thrive and like sandy or rocky soil with little natural matter. It’s an amazing low-maintenance alternative, and it thrives with none fertilization and little watering resulting from its giant 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, generally referred to as Mexican Whorled Milkweed in the US, is commonly seen rising in giant teams. It has a way more delicate, grass-like look than Widespread Milkweed.


It’s most conspicuous when it’s in bloom, from June by way of September. The blooms are upright clusters of about 20 small flowers. The flowers are variable in shade, 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 slim, skinny, easy, and lengthy. They break up down the aspect and launch wind-borne gentle brown seeds and coma when mature.


Within the wild, Narrowleaf Milkweed is usually 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 bunch plant for the caterpillars of Monarch and Queen Butterflies and Isabella Tiger, Clio Tiger, Hitched Arches, and Euchaetes Zella moths Varied 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 identify suggests, this moisture-loving perennial is usually 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 by way of each seeds and underground rhizomes.


Like different milkweeds in the US, the blooms are clusters of smaller flowers. The sunshine pink, purple, or white flowers of Swamp Milkweed will entice numerous species of native bees and butterflies to your backyard. It’s additionally a bunch 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 coated 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 properly in scorching, dry circumstances. California Milkweed must be grown in full solar as a result of it doesn’t tolerate even partial shade. Because of its giant 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.


When you’re searching for a plant that may tolerate scorching, dry climate and entice pollinators, California Milkweed is perhaps good! Its flowers entice a wide range of bee and butterfly species. California Milkweed can also be a bunch 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 US has a reasonably distinctive progress behavior. Its Latin identify “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 break up and launch brown seed and white coma.


Sandhill Milkweed might 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 bunch to Monarch and Queen Butterfly caterpillars that feed on the plant’s leaves. Sandhill Milkweed flowers additionally entice 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 identified merely as Zizotes or “hierba de zizotes.” It’s the least hardy species of milkweed in the US 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 prolong up and over the central column making this species simple to determine in bloom. The person flowers seem like 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 might 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 may survive periodic droughts and even occasional mowing. In consequence, it’s a straightforward 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 additional 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 bushes.

In contrast to most different milkweed species in the US, Clasping Milkweed options only a single rounded cluster of about 25 giant, aromatic flowers. The person flowers are normally pinkish or purplish with some inexperienced or cream in them with petals which might 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 identify 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 US, it’s a lesser-known and harder-to-find milkweed species! In contrast to lots of its extra frequent cousins, 4-leaved Milkweed is a forest-dweller. You’ll be able to normally discover 4-leaved Milkweed rising in open, dry, rocky woodlands, slopes, and ridges.

In Might 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 sometimes 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 possible discover this milkweed species in the US 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 contemporary agriculture.

Right now, you’ll discover Prairie Milkweed rising in meadows, prairies, and different open areas in the US. It does properly in moist areas like river bottomland however can not 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 stunning 3 to five ft tall and options gorgeous clusters of fiery orange flowers. These tall, slim crops are powerful to identify and nearly 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 US, it’s a vital supply of meals for Monarch, Queen, and Soldier caterpillars which might be specifically tailored to feed on milkweeds’ poisonous sap.

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

#23. Longleaf Milkweed

longleaf milkweed

Longleaf Milkweed is a slender, unbranched perennial. Because the identify 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 time 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 US 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 it’s possible you’ll assume you’ve noticed a cabbage plant moderately than a milkweed! Their giant, rounded, thick, darkish inexperienced leaves give the plant its identify 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 nearly hidden by the leaves. The flowers give method to pairs of erect, giant, easy seed pods. The seed pods mature from inexperienced to brown and break up open to launch flattened brown seeds, every hooked up to a silky pappus that the wind disperses.

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

#25. Oval-leaved

© Sean Frey

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

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

Oval-leaved Milkweeds normally flower between Might and July. Sometimes, the flowers are white with some pale inexperienced or pinkish-purple tones and sometimes fade to yellow with age.

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

#26. Horsetail Milkweed

  • Asclepias subverticillata

horsetail milkweed

This milkweed has a fragile, feathery look, with slim leaves forming in whorls. You may spot Horsetail Milkweed blooming all through the summer time, between Might 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 break 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.

You could find Horsetail Milkweed in the US 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, it’s possible you’ll 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 giant, thick, heart-shaped, cabbage-like leaves. The flower clusters on the prime of the stem seem like jewels within the desert. Search for flowers that function rose-colored hoods and white or yellowish-green petals which might be bent downward. It’s possible you’ll spot this plant blooming between April and June.

Humboldt Mountain Milkweed grows finest in the US in areas with full solar and dry rocky or sandy soil. You could find 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 many 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 show 5 tiny column-like constructions with little hooks on the prime.

#29. Coronary heart-leaf Milkweed

heart leaf milkweed

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

Generally, it’s possible you’ll hear Coronary heart-leaf Milkweed referred to as “Purple Milkweed.” This becoming identify refers back to the a number of clusters of darkish crimson or purple flowers that type on two-year-old crops.

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

Right now, you’ll find Coronary heart-leaf Milkweed rising in the US in dry, rocky areas in deserts, plains, woodlands, chaparral, and evergreen forests. It’ll develop within the mountains as much as about 6,560 ft.

#30. Plains Milkweed

© Jared Shorma

This little milkweed is a creeping perennial that normally grows lower than a foot tall. At first look, Plains Milkweed could 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 US 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 generally 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, Japanese Tiger Swallowtails, and Falcate Metalmark Butterflies.

#31. Savannah Milkweed

© Jason Ksepka

Savannah Milkweed is without doubt one of the smallest milkweed species in the US, reaching simply 0.5 to 1 foot tall! With its small dimension and greenish-yellow flowers, it blends in properly 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 time to early fall and are additionally a favourite for pollinators like bees, wasps, and butterflies.

As their identify 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 without doubt one of the bigger milkweed species in the US, reaching a stunning 5 ft tall!

As you most likely guessed, it’s named for its skinny, comfortable pine-needle-like leaves. These narrowly linear leaves are alternately organized up your entire stems. It varieties small clusters of creamy white or greenish-white flowers on the suggestions 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 battle off the OE parasite (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha).

#33. Woollypod Milkweed

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

Woolypod Milkweed is without doubt one of the most toxic milkweed species in the US!

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

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

True to its identify, the flowers give method to giant seed pods, which have a thick masking of woolly hairs. These seed pods break up at maturity to launch seeds that will likely be carried away on the wind due to 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 it’s possible you’ll spot it rising in open woodlands, rocky hillsides, deserts, and different dry areas.


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