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Common Milkweed

Asclepias syriaca

Easy-to-establish milkweed; host plant for monarch caterpillars; fragrant blooms are pollinator magnets.


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Asclepias syriaca, commonly known as Common Milkweed, is native perennial forb (wildflower).  Stems and leaves exude a milky sap when cut or bruised.

Wildlife notes

The flowers are very popular with many kinds of insects, especially long-tongued bees, wasps, flies, skippers, and butterflies, which seek nectar. Other insect visitors include short-tongued bees, various milkweed plant bugs, and moths, including Sphinx moths. Among these, the larger butterflies, predatory wasps, and long-tongued bees are more likely to remove the pollen from the flowers. Common Milkweed doesn’t produce fertile seeds without cross-pollination.

Forage notes

Livestock avoid this plant because of the bitterness of the leaves and their toxic properties.

Landscaping notes

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Drought tolerant. Does well in poor, dryish soils. Easily grown from seed and will self-seed in the landscape if seed pods are not removed prior to splitting open. Can spread somewhat rapidly by rhizomes. Often forms extensive colonies in the wild. Butterfly gardens, meadows, prairies, or naturalized/native plant areas. This plant is considered by many gardeners to be too vigorous and weedy for borders.

Restoration notes

Habitats include moist to dry black soil prairies, sand prairies, sand dunes along lake shores, thickets, woodland borders, fields and pastures, abandoned fields, vacant lots, fence rows, and areas along railroads and roadsides. This plant is a colonizer of disturbed areas in both natural and developed habitats.

Additional information

Weight N/A

Packet, Ounce, Pound


Full Sun

Seeding Rate

4 bulk lbs/acre





Bloom Month

Jun, Jul, Aug



Specialty Uses

Butterfly, Edible, Medicinal

Cattle Palatability


# seeds/pkt


Packet coverage area

5 sq. ft

Life Cycle


What is PLS?

Pure Live Seed (PLS) is the portion of good viable seed per pound. It is a measure of the seed that is alive and able to sprout into plants. This product is sold by PLS ounce/pound. To provide one ounce/pound of viable seed, you will receive more than one ounce/pound of product. Read more about PLS here.