Milkweeds: Common and Native to NC/VA

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) 

Description: This tall perennial has large balls of pink to purplish flowers that have an attractive odor. The flowers bloom from June to August. 

Growing Conditions: This plant is shade intolerant, it needs lots of sunlight and moist soil.

Plant Size: Usually 3-5 feet (90-150 cm), may reach 8-feet (240 cm) in ditches and gardens.

Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Description: The common name for this plant is Orange Milkweed. This perennial has large flat-topped clusters of yellow-orange or bright –orange flowers and blooms May to September.

Growing Conditions: Butterflyweed needs full sunlight, is drought tolerant and prefers dry to moist soils.

Plant Size: 1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)

Description: Often called Pink Milkweed, this perennial has large blossoms composed of small, rose-purple flowers. The deep pink flowers are clustered at the top of a tall, branching stem and bloom June to October.

Growing Conditions: This plant needs lots of water, is shade tolerant and prefers soils that stay moist to wet.

Plant Size: 2-5 feet (60-152 cm)

Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens)

Description: The flower clusters are deep magenta red and bloom May to July.

Growing Conditions: Purple milkweed needs bright sunlight and dry soil.

Plant Size: 2-4 feet (61-122)

White Milkweed (Asclepias variegata)

Description: This perennial has small white flowers with purplish centers crowed into round, terminal clusters that resemble snowballs. Blooms May to September.

Growing Conditions: While milkweed has low water needs, likes dry soil and tolerates moderate shade.

Plant Size: 1-3 feet (30-91 cm)

Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata)

Description: This single-stemmed perennial has narrow, linear leaves whorled along the stem. Small, greenish-white flowers occur in flat-topped clusters on the upper part of the stem. Blooms May to September.

Growing Conditions: Whorled milkweed has moderate water requirements, is somewhat shade tolerant and prefers dry soil.

Plant Size: 1-3 feet (30-91 cm)

Green Milkweed (Asclepias viridis)

Description: This perennial has white flowers; blooms May to August.

Growing Conditions: Green milkweed needs bright sunlight, it is heat and cold tolerant, prefers moist soil and moderate water.

Plant Size: 4-feet (122 cm)