We’ve had requests for perennial milkweed for years. Milkweed, Asclepias, is the host plant for Monarch butterflies, and it produces a sweet nectar that is sough by many butterfly species. While the milky sap of these plants is poisonous to humans, it is beneficial to some insects. Milkweed is a beautiful and extremely beneficial perennial that is frequently misunderstood, it’s not really a weed at all. Check out tropical milkweed seeds which are easier and grow much faster from seed. We grow and ship several species of milkweed (Asclepias curassavica, Asclepias incarnata, and Asclepias tuberosa) from May thru October. White Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias perennis)By Christopher David Benda. Milkweed is an herbaceous perennial plant native to North America. Lifted plants may not bloom the first year, but expect plants started from seed to bloom the first year. Common milkweed spreads by runners making it ideal planted in naturalized areas. Also, this perennial takes a while to mature into a full grown plant. The foliage is thick and glossy so it adds texture to help your garden look lush even in the peak of the summer! At long last, we can deliver! The plants grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 to 10 and bloom in summer, bearing their flowers in broad, flattened clusters at the branch tips. Meadows are one of my favorite places to be, largely because of the lovely milkweed that I often find there. It would also make a great addition to a rain garden (a wide depression that collects excessive rainwater, gradually letting it be absorbed into the surrounding soil). White swamp milkweed is a perennial plant in the Milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae). Tropical Milkweed performs beautifully in hot, humid conditions, and can be grown as an annual in the north. This 2 to 3-foot-tall perennial flowers through the summer and is one of several nectar sources for the adult monarch butterflies. Milkweeds (Asclepias) get their name from the sticky white sap that oozes from the leaves when they are damaged. Butterfly Weed. Native to the US from Canada to Georgia, and west to Texas. Not only is it attractive, it's an important nectar source for bees and other insects. The blooms appear atop fuzzy, green stems, which are adorned by attractive, lance-shaped leaves. bear many small star-shaped flowers and produce a milky sap; they are named for this sap. in professional writing. The plants' flowers attract butterflies, moths, bees and other insects that feed on the plant nectar; the nectar is not poisonous, so it does not hurt these insects. There are more than 100 species of butterfly milkweed, but one of the most common, and widely distributed, is Asclepias tuberosa, which has bright clusters of orange or yellow and orange flowers in summer and fall. Even adult Monarch butterflies have this poison in their bodies. Milkweed seeds are easily spread by the wind, which catches the fluffy seeds and carries them long distances. The blooms are raised at the end of stalks two or three feet tall, so you can see them even if the plants are growing at the back of a flower bed. Swamp Milkweed—Asclepias incarnata: This milkweed has rose-pink flowers and grows naturally in marshes, making it ideal for a moist spot in your garden. In a late-summer garden full of butterfly milkweed plants, the butterflies themselves sometimes seem to be more numerous than the blooms. Common milkweed is a widespread wildfower. Asclepias tuberosa should be a reliable perennial for you… You can also lift and separate existing plants in spring. Milkweed is a perennial that often bears blossoms and fruit at the same time. Milkweed may cause losses at any time, but it is most dangerous during the active growing season. Butterfly milkweed is also striking with the smoky purple flowers of Joe Pye weed or purple coneflowers. The plants spread naturally by wind-borne seeds and by creeping roots that spread out slowly under the ground. These hardy plants are deer resistant and can tolerate less than ideal soil conditions. Milkweed thrives in a sunny location with sandy soil and offers benefits to insects. Milkweed is also well known for attracting butterflies and serving as a host plant for their caterpillars. She works as both a writer and author and enjoys writing articles on many different topics. Common milkweed plants grow to about 2 to 4 feet in height, with a thin, vertical growth habit. The plant may be 0.5-1.0 meters high. Milkweed seeds require vernalization (a period of exposure to cold before they are planted outside, or started in a greenhouse) for 3-6 weeks to germinate properly. More than 100 species of this herbaceous perennial are native to the U.S. and Canada. Milkweed: USDA Zone: 3-9: Plant number: 1.080.020. Growing to a manageable height and spread of only 1’ to 2’, butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is easy to find a home for in even the smallest garden.Its unusual bright orange flowers are striking, especially when visited by … These handsome, native plants will attract lots of Monarch butterflies to your garden. All varieties produce silky seeds within inflated seed pods. Common milkweed can grow up to 6 feet tall with large 4- to 10-inch-long leaves, sometimes with red veins. This site uses cookies to enable shopping cart usage, provide you with relevant product and promotions, and measure performance. Hi Helen, tropical milkweed is a tender perennial in your region, so you might want to leaf mulch in late fall to give the roots some extra protection. Read on to learn more about why you should plant this stunning perennial as well as care information. Swamp milkweed, as the name suggests, grows best in moist, wetland areas. You can collect the seeds after the pods dry and before they split and release seeds. The main source of this is also where the plant gets its common namefrom the milky sap. Your browser is currently set to block cookies. Swamp Milkweed, as its name implies, will do best in a moist environment, making it great for wet meadows or rain gardens. Perhaps most famously, milkweed species serve as the host plant for the monarch butterfly. across (5 cm), of tiny flowers, each adorned with 5 upright pale green petals that cup upward over 5 white hoods. Seed pods are nice in dried arrangements, and may be picked just before they open. Many have adapted to different regions of the country and a wide range of climates and terrains, from deserts and rocky areas to marshes and open prairies. Growing Conditions: Needs lots of water, shade tolerant, moist to wet soil. The milky sap and all parts of the plant contain high levels of a compound toxic to all vertebrates. Butterfly Milkweed Butterfly milkweed, a perennial wildflower also known as Asclepias, thrives in meadows and along roadsides, but they’re also terrific in flower beds too. A standby in the butterfly garden, milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), which grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, provides the sole food source for monarch butterfly caterpillars. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. The deep pink flowers are clustered at the top of a tall, branching stem and bloom June to October. Greenish-white flowers are borne in umbrella-like clusters. Butterfly milkweed, a perennial wildflower also known as Asclepias, thrives in meadows and along roadsides, but they’re also terrific in flower beds too. This native perennial is a primary food source for the Monarch butterfly providing large leaves for caterpillars and big pink globe-like flowers that provide nectar for the adult butterflies. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 6, where it grows as a perennial. A member of the Asclepias (milkweed) genus, Red Milkweed is a host plant for the caterpillar stage of the Monarch butterfly. It is native to North America and reproduces primarily from seed. Some varieties produce clusters of drooping pinkish-purple flowers, while other varieties' flowers range in color from red and yellow-orange to orange and bicolored blooms. Once it is established it can spread from its rhizomatous root system. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. This perennial is perfect as a filler between your taller perennials and adds a nice touch of fragrance mid-late summer. They contain several glucosidic substances called cardenolides that are toxic. Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed) is a gorgeous plant that produces purple/pink flower clusters that wildflower gardeners love and spreads quickly. Seedlings will emerge in spring, and the plants will grow both taller and larger every year. View all Perennials Asclepias Seeds and Plants A must for any butterfly garden, asclepias, or butterfly weed, bears rounded clusters of bright orange, orange-red, or occasionally yellow flowers in midsummer. By the end of the season, some plants may be nearly completely consumed by caterpillars — but don’t worry, they’ll be back stronger than ever next year, and the butterflies will be too. Based in Indiana, Molly Allman holds a B.A. In addition to it’s vibrant bloom, this plant plays host to the endangered monarch butterfly. October 19, 2020 September 25, 2018 by Matt Suwak. It likes wet, clay soil, but it also prefers full sun. Your browser's Javascript functionality is turned off. Swamp Milkweed Seeds Common Milkweed grows well in average garden soil. It is easy to grow butterfly milkweed from seed sown directly in the garden, and fall sowing will insure a good display of flowers the following summer. A perennial to zone 3, sun to part shade in a wide range of conditions, it bears large pink flower clusters on four to five foot tall, thick stems. Asclepias asperula (Antelope-Horns Milkweed) is a clump-forming perennial of upright or sprawling habit, boasting amazingly intricate, rounded clusters, 2 in. Her fiction writing appears in "Bewildering Stories," "The Other Herald" and "Spectacular Speculations. She specializes in topics concerning health, crafts, family and lifestyles. Special offers, discounts, and new products. Soil: There is a Milkweed variety for every landscape. This plant would be perfect for your butterfly garden or those difficult, low spots in your yard (as it thrives in moist conditions). ", Fairfax County Public Schools: Common Milkweed. Leaves may be narrow or broad. The stems and leav… The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8 inches long. Typically grows to 2-4 feet tall and thrives in almost any well-drained soil spot. 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