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Common Milkweed

Category:

This variety produces a profusion of sweet-scented shell pink flowers and is the mandatory food source for the caterpillars of the Monarch butterfly who feast on the leaves; best in well drained soil and spreads quickly by rhizomes; best in a large area

Characteristics

Species:
syriaca
Other Species Names:
Butterfly Flower, Silkweed
Average Landscape Height:
3 feet (4 feet with the flowers)
Average Landscape Width:
32 inches
Genus:
Asclepias
Branching:
herbaceous
Plant Form:
upright spreading
Canopy:
leggy
Growth Rate:
medium
Pruning:
spring cleanup
Flower Color:
shell pink
Flower Period:
in mid summer
Summer Foliage Color:
gray green
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Light:
full sun
Maximum Moisture:
wet
Minimum Moisture:
average

Ornamental Features

Common Milkweed features showy shell pink flat-top flowers at the ends of the stems in mid summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its narrow leaves remain grayish green in color throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Common Milkweed is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

Planting & Growing

Common Milkweed will grow to be about 3 feet tall at maturity extending to 4 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 32 inches. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is quite adaptable, prefering to grow in average to wet conditions, and will even tolerate some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided. This species is native to parts of North America. It can be propagated by division.

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