NCBG North Carolina Botanical Garden

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

Scientific Name: or show all plants or perform combination search
Plant Family:

Asclepias syriaca

Asclepias syriaca L.

common milkweed

Synonym(s): Asclepias intermedia, Asclepias kansana, Asclepias syriaca var. kansana
Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed)
image by Ware, Richard & Teresa

Key to Map Symbols.
NCBG PLANT INDEX
ID_PLANT: ASSY
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Asclepias syriaca
SELECTED SYNONYM:
GENUS: Asclepias
FAMILY CODE: APOCYN

NCBG DESCRIPTIVES
INTRO: A conspicuous, coarse perennial that forms large colonies in unmowed fields, pastures, roadsides and other disturbed areas.
STEMS: Stem stout, unbranched, often furry; leaks milky sap when bruised.
LEAVES: Leaves opposite, short-petiolate, oval to oblong, 6–9 in. long, with a reddish central vein, soft-hairy beneath.
INFLORESCENCE:
FLOWERS: Flowers on long stalks that often droop, in a globe-shaped terminal umbel and a few upper axillary umbels; fragrant, pale-purple to rose-colored, with 5 strongly reflexed corolla lobes and a central crown--composed of 5 2-parted appendages (“hood” and “horn”)--surrounding a complex structure of fused anthers and style.
FRUITS: Fruit a warty, somewhat furry, oval follicle containing tufted seeds.
COMMENTS: This species, a well-known Monarch host plant, is apparently expanding its range southward.
HEIGHT: 3-6 ft.

NCBG DURATION
ANNUAL: 0
BIENNIAL: 0
PERENNIAL: 1

NCBG HABIT
HERB: 1
SUBSHRUB: 0
SHRUB: 0
TREE: 0
CACTUS/SUCCULENT: 0
GRASS/GRASSLIKE: 0
FERN: 0
VINE: 0

NCBG LEAF ARRANGEMENT
ALTERNATE: 0
OPPOSITE: 1
WHORLED: 0
BASAL: 0
FASCICLED: 0

NCBG LEAF COMPLEXITY
SIMPLE: 1
PINNATE: 0
BI-PINNATE: 0
TRI-PINNATE: 0
PALMATE: 0
TRIFOLIOLATE: 0

NCBG LEAF RETENTION
DECIDUOUS: 0
EVERGREEN: 0
SEMI-EVERGREEN: 0

NCBG DISTRIBUTION
HABITAT TYPE: Disturbed
NATIVE RANGE: Eastern North America

NCBG FLORAL SYMMETRY
RADIAL (ACTINOMORPHIC): 1
BILATERAL (ZYGOMORPHIC): 0
MIXED (BOTH ACTINOMORPHIC and ZYGOMORPHIC): 0

NCBG PHENOLOGY
bloom_time: June-Aug
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
x x x
bloom_color: Pale purple to rose
White Red Pink Orange Yellow Green Blue Lavender Purple Violet Brown Not Applicable
x x x

fruit_time: July-Sept.

NCBG PLANT SALE
PLANT SALE TEXT: Common milkweed is the most substantial of our native milkweeds. It is a great host plant for monarch larvae and a nectar source for adult butterflies. It is also showy, both in flower and in fruit. Large round clusters of dusty pink flowers are followed by large warty pods trailing delicate milkweed fluff. It is drought tolerant, and works well in a loose or wild landscape like a meadow or woodland edge. Individual plants are large and are likely to form colonies. Milkweeds support up to 12 species of lepidoptera.

Cultural Notes:

Bee Friendly: 1
Butterfly Friendly: 1
Bird Friendly: 0
Hummingbird Friendly: 0

SOIL MOISTURE:
Soil Dry: 1
Soil Average: 1
Soil Moist/Wet: 0
Soil Well-drained: 0

LIGHT EXPOSURE
Sun: 1
Part Shade: 0
Shade: 0

MINIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 3
MAXIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 9

GERMINATION CODE: 2

NCBG RECORD
ID IMAGE: 8782
ID IMAGE2: 8782
ID IMAGE3: 24550
Publish to Web: 1
Last Modified: 2017-12-18

USDA PLANTS DATABASE
USDA Symbol: ASSY
USDA Common Name: Common Milkweed
Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Distribution: USA (AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV), CAN (MB, NB, NS, ON, PE, QC, SK)
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Forb/herb

NATIONAL WETLAND INDICATOR STATUS

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: UPL FACU FACU UPL FACU UPL FACU

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2016 National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.3 (Lichvar, R.W., D.L. Banks, W.N. Kirchner, and N.C. Melvin. 2016. The National Wetland Plant List: 2016 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2016-30: 1-17. Published 28 April 2016. ISSN 2153 733X). Regions: AGCP-Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, AK-Alaska, AW-Arid West, CB-Caribbean, EMP-Eastern Mountains and Piedmont, GP-Great Plains, HI-Hawaii, MW-Midwest, NCNE-Northcentral and Northeast, WMCV-Western Mountains, Valleys & Coast
STATE RANKS
STATE RANK: S5 (S5)
GLOBAL RANK: G5
STATE STATUS:
US STATUS:
TRACKED STATUS: N: Do not track

WEAKLEY FLORA
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Asclepias syriaca
COMMON NAME: Common Milkweed
SYNONYMY: [= C, K, Pa, RAB, S, Va, W, Z; > Asclepias syriaca var. syriaca - F, G, Il]
PHENOLOGY: Jun-Aug; Jul-Sep.
HABITAT: Pastures, roadsides, disturbed areas.
COMMENTS: NB and ME west to s. MB and ND, south to SC, GA, c. TN (Chester, Wofford, & Kral 1997), AR, OK, and KS. This species is apparently expanding its range southward; see Wyatt et al. (1993) and Wyatt (1996) for discussion.
RANGE MAP: Asclepias syriaca.png

ABOUT FAMILY (Weakley Flora)
Apocynaceae A.L. de Jussieu 1789 (Dogbane Family)
SUMMARY: As here circumscribed including the Asclepiadaceae, a family of about 480 genera and about 4800 species, lianas, shrubs, herbs, and trees, widespread in tropical and temperate areas. There appears to be overwhelming evidence favoring the combination of the Asclepiadaceae into the Apocynaceae; see, for instance, Rosatti (1989), Sennblad & Bremer (1996), and many others.
REFERENCE: Rosatti (1989); Liede (1997a).
ABOUT GENUS (Weakley Flora)
Asclepias Linnaeus 1753 (Milkweed)
SUMMARY: A genus of about 100 species, herbs, temperate and tropical, of North and Central America.
REFERENCE: Woodson (1954)=Z; Turner (2009b)=Y; Farmer & Bell (1985)=X.

Seeds of Success (SOS)

SOS_NUM COL_DATE PERS_NUM STATE ECOREGION_III DETAIL
219 2015-09-02 3 North Carolina 45 Show
374 2015-10-20 59 Virginia 63 Show
381 2015-10-21 65 Virginia 45 Show
517 2016-09-20 61 Maryland 63 Show
525 2016-09-19 59 Maryland 65 Show
538 2016-09-21 3 Maryland 63 Show
600 2016-10-05 60 North Carolina 45 Show

HERBARIUM RESOURCES
SERNEC: Find Asclepias syriaca in Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)
UNC SERNEC: Find Asclepias syriaca in University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium - Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)

WEB RESOURCES
USDA: Find Asclepias syriaca in USDA Plants
NPIN: Find Asclepias syriaca in NPIN Database
FNA: Find Asclepias syriaca in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Asclepias syriaca

From the Image Gallery


Image ID: 2541

Image ID: 8781

Image ID: 24549

Image ID: 24548

Image ID: 28565

Image ID: 19806

Image ID: 12304

Image ID: 10278

Image ID: 10277

Image ID: 7840

Image ID: 7841

Image ID: 8542

Image ID: 8543

Image ID: 10275

Image ID: 28562

Image ID: 8784

Image ID: 8783

Image ID: 4216

Image ID: 28560

Image ID: 28564

Image ID: 28563

Image ID: 28561

Image ID: 24551

Image ID: 24550

Image ID: 12303

Image ID: 8648

Image ID: 19638

Image ID: 19808

Image ID: 24546

Image ID: 24547

Image ID: 10276

Image ID: 19807

Image ID: 10644
34 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Go back