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Plant Families / Asclepias


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Asclepias

Attracting butterflies in great numbers, Asclepias are evergreen or deciduous perennials boasting brilliant clusters of petite, star-shaped flowers, which give way to fluffy seed pods that split open in the fall, and release hundreds of silky-haired seeds. Both a food source and a host plant for butterflies, in particular the monarch, these highly ornamental plants are easy to grow and a must to beautify your garden. They also 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!

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Asclepias (Milkweed)

Mostly native to the U.S. and Canada, Asclepias include over 100 species of evergreen or deciduous perennials adorned with clusters of small, interestingly shaped blooms that are irresistible to butterflies. Attractive and easy to grow, they shine in many perennial gardens and are a key component of butterfly gardens, cottage gardens, or prairies and meadows.

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Asclepias asperula (Antelope-Horns Milkweed)

Asclepias asperula (Antelope-Horns Milkweed) is a clump-forming perennial of upright or sprawling habit, boasting amazingly intricate, rounded clusters, 2 in. across (5 cm), of tiny flowers, each adorned with 5 upright pale green petals that cup upward over 5 white hoods.

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Asclepias curassavica 'Silky Deep Red' (Tropical Milkweed)

Noted for its very long blooming season, Asclepias curassavica 'Silky Deep Red' (Tropical Milkweed) is an upright evergreen sub-shrub boasting eye-catching clusters of deep red flowers adorned with bright yellow hoods from late spring to late fall. The flowers are a great source of nectar for butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial insects.

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Asclepias curassavica (Tropical Milkweed)

Noted for its very long blooming season, Asclepias curassavica (Tropical Milkweed) is an upright evergreen sub-shrub boasting eye-catching clusters of orange-red flowers adorned with yellow hoods from early summer to fall. The flowers are a great source of nectar for butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial insects.

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Asclepias exaltata (Poke Milkweed)

Shade tolerant, Asclepias exaltata (Poke Milkweed) is a perennial wildflower prized for its spreading umbels of white to pink flowers produced in summer. Borne on individual pedicels, the flowers weep downward, resembling small fireworks.

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Asclepias fascicularis (Narrowleaf Milkweed)

Asclepias fascicularis (Narrowleaf Milkweed) is a flowering perennial boasting attractive clusters, 4-5 in. across (10-12 cm), of lavender and white, starry flowers from early summer to fall. The flowers are a great source of nectar for butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial insects.

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Asclepias incarnata 'Cinderella' (Swamp Milkweed)

Asclepias incarnata 'Cinderella' (Swamp Milkweed) is an erect, clump-forming perennial prized for its brilliant clusters of vanilla scented, rose-pink flowers, which bloom continuously for weeks from midsummer to early fall. The flowers are a great source of nectar for butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial insects. Sitting atop upright branching stems, clad with stiff, lance-shaped, taper-pointed leaves, the colorful umbels give way to attractive seed pods in the fall, which persist into winter.

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Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)

Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) is an erect, clump-forming perennial prized for its brilliant clusters of fragrant, lilac-pink flowers, which bloom continuously for weeks from mid to late summer. Sitting atop upright branching stems, clad with stiff, lance-shaped, taper-pointed leaves, the colorful umbels give way to attractive seed pods in the fall, which persist into winter.

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Asclepias lanceolata (Fewflower Milkweed)

Asclepias lanceolata (Fewflower Milkweed) is an erect perennial wildflower prized for its umbels of 5-12 bright orange-yellow flowers adorned with a red corolla. Blooming for weeks from early to late summer, they sit atop long, slender purplish stems, clad with narrow, opposite, lanceolate leaves.

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Asclepias physocarpus (Balloon Plant)

Noted for its curious balloon-like seed pods, Gomphocarpus physocarpus (Balloon Plant) is an upright perennial producing slender stems clad with lance-shaped, pale lime-green leaves. Pendulous clusters of small, white flowers with a slight vanilla scent are borne in the leaf axils in summer.

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Asclepias purpurascens (Purple Milkweed)

Resembling Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed), Asclepias purpurascens (Purple Milkweed) is a rhizomatous perennial prized for its domed clusters of rich rose-pink, starry flowers, which bloom from late spring to midsummer. The flowers are a great source of nectar for butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial insects.

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Asclepias quadrifolia (Fourleaf Milkweed)

Asclepias quadrifolia (Fourleaf Milkweed) is an upright, single-stemmed perennial clad with a distinctive whorl of four symmetrical, egg-shaped leaves, 2-6 in. long (5-15 cm), along the stem. From late spring to midsummer, tiny, fragrant, white to pinkish flowers open from rosy buds. They are held in charming, up-facing pendant umbels atop the plant's stem.

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Asclepias speciosa (Showy Milkweed)

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.

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Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed)

Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed) is a rhizomatous perennial prized for its domed clusters of sweetly scented, pinkish-purple, starry flowers, which bloom from early to late summer. The flowers are a great source of nectar for butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial insects.

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Asclepias tuberosa 'Hello Yellow' (Butterfly Weed)

Easy care, drought tolerant and deer resistant, Asclepias tuberosa 'Hello Yellow' (Butterfly Weed) is a bushy perennial prized for its brilliant clusters of bright golden yellow flowers which bloom continuously from early to late summer. Sitting atop upright flowering stems, clad with stiff, lance-shaped leaves, the colorful umbels are followed by attractive seed pods in the fall. When the seed pods open, they reveal seeds with long, silvery-white, silky hairs that look great in dried flower arrangements.

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