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SPECIES > Forbs > Asclepias syriaca

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Common Milkweed

( Asclepias syriaca )

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Common Milkweed
Silkweed
Silky Swallowwort
Algodoncillo
Apocynaceae
Asclepias
Asclepias syriaca
Linnaeus
SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS
PE, NL
Asclepias intermedia
Asclepias kansana
Asclepias syriaca var. kansana
Characteristics

Wildflower

Deciduous

2

Sun

Clay, Sand

Normal, Moist

No

No

No

No
Habitat Considerations

Boreal Shield, Atlantic Maritime, Mixedwood Plains, Prairies

Forest Edge, Prairie/Meadow/Field

Butterfly, Prairie/Meadow
Design Considerations

50 cm

150 cm

Jun - Aug

Purple|Pink

Yes

Yes

Green


monarch butterfly

Yes

No

No


Yes

No

Butterflies, Butterfly Larvae

No
Conservation Status

No


Interesting Tidbits

POISONOUS PARTS: Milky sap from leaves, stems. Toxic only in large quantities. Symptoms include vomiting, stupor, weakness, spasms by ingesting other species; need careful identification. Toxic Principle: Resinoid, cardiac glycoside in other species. (Poisonous Plants of N.C. State) The name milkweed refers to the milky white sap, which contains bitter chemicals to protect the plants from predators. A few insects are immune to these poisons and accumulate them in their bodies, protecting themselves from their own predators. Monarch butterflies cannot complete their life cycles without milkweed. (Kershaw) Provides nectar for butterflies such as: pipe-vine swallowtail, black swallowtail, tiger swallowtail, gray hairstreak, summer azure, great spangled fritillary, aphrodite fritillary, silvery checkerspot, Baltimore, American painted lady, red admiral, little wood satyr, wood nymph. (Wildtype) Aboriginal people have used it for medicinal reasons. People have used the tough fibres for making cord and rope. (USDA Plants)


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