Asclepias speciosa (Showy Milkweed) is an erect, clump-forming perennial prized for its brilliant spherical clusters of fragrant, pinkish-white, starry flowers, which bloom from late spring to early summer. The flowers are a great source of nectar for butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial insects. The flowers occur on stalks from the leaf axils and at the top of upright stems clad with velvety, large, oval, blue-green leaves. They give way to prominent seed pods in the fall, which look great in dried flower arrangements. When the seed pods open, they reveal seeds with long, silvery-white, silky hairs. A great choice for the flower garden and for natural settings. Milkweed plants are critical to the monarch butterflies survival, whose population in North America has plummeted by 90% in the last 20 years. By planting milkweed in your own garden, you can help reverse the fortune of these beautiful insects!
- Grows in sturdy, upright clumps up to 2-4 ft. tall (60-120 cm) and 12-18 in. wide (30-45 cm). May self-seed if seed pods are not removed prior to splitting open.
- Thrives in full sun in dry to medium well-drained soils. Does well in poor, dry, gravelly soils
- Low maintenance, this perennial plant is generally pest and disease free. Deer resistant.
- Perfect for sunny borders, cottage gardens, butterfly gardens and prairies or naturalized areas.
- Plants have deep taproots and are best left undisturbed once established.
- Propagate by root cuttings in fall or early spring. Seeds may be sown outside in late fall or the following spring.
- Native to western North America