Common Milkweed - Asclepias syriaca
Features: This Milkweed has large oval leaves on which Monarchs love to lay their eggs, so their caterpillars can feed on the leaves. Its clusters of purple/pink flowers emit a sweet fragrance, attracting butterflies, bumblebees, other native bees, wasps and red and blue Milkweed Beetles.
It can reseed freely if the pods are left to open, so they may be best picked while still green and shared with friends who have no milkweed. Be aware that it can also spread through its underground root system. If you plant this for Monarch caterpillars, be sure to plant other prairie natives for summer-long nectar sources for the adults.
Light: Full sun
Soil: Medium to dry
Height: 3-5 feet
Blooms: July to September
Photo credit: Wild Ones West Cook 2014.
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