Common Name: Common Milkweed Scientific Name: Asclepias syriaca
General Description: Perennial plant that reaches 3-5 feet in height; erect stem with large oval leaves that provide contrasting form to many other native perennials. Pink flower clusters give way to pods that burst open and release brown seeds attached to silken fibers that aid with wind dispersal.
Habitat: Common milkweed can adapt to a variety of soils from rocky to sandy to clay. However, it requires nearly full sun to thrive and prefers moist, well-drained conditions. Common milkweed is found in disturbed areas and can spread aggressively via underground shoots if competition is limited.
Additional information: Common milkweed is a very valuable plant for wildlife. It is a host plant for monarch caterpillars and the flowers attract a wide variety of pollinators. The tough fibrous stems were harvested by Native Americans to make rope and nets. Although mildly toxic uncooked, common milkweed (like pokeweed) can be eaten as a vegetable if prepared and cooked properly.
You are welcome to visit the
Native Plant of the Week
at 4020 Dunston Avenue.
The featured plant will be in the front yard
and will be marked.