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Common Milkweed

Asclepias syricacia

Family: Asclepiadaceae

  • found throughout most of the United States, particularly the Eastern states
  • grows along roadsides, in old fields and meadows, and in waste places
Common Milkweed
  • thick stemmed
  • grows upright
  • 60-180 cm or 2-6 feet tall
  • named for the milky sap that can be found in the stem and leaves of the plant
  • elliptical and opposite
  • velvety on upper surface and downy underneath
  • 10-23 cm or 4-9 inches long and quite wide
  • often the mid-vein is deep red
Common Milkweed Pod
Flower and Fruit (seedpods):
  • large and made up of numerous pink-purple florets gathered in an umbrella shape
  • flowers from June-August
  • large seeds pods are the most recognizable feature of the plant
  • light green and elliptical
  • 2-10 cm or 1-4 inches with a pointed tip
  • contain seeds with wispy, parachute like attachements for wind dispersion
Common Milkweed Seeds
The tough stems of the milkweed plant are excellent for making white cordage. The down can be used for insulation and tinder.

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