This Mid-western wildflower is a host plant for Monarch populations in the middle portion of the US. Purple milkweed has very distinctive flowers whose nectar attracts long-tongued bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. The entire former milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae) has recently been rolled into the dogbane family (Apocynaceae). This is the likely reason that this wildflower has few mammalian herbivores other than deer that are believed to negatively impact the dispersal of seeds. Purple milkweed's flowers differ from the flowers of swamp milkweed in having short, inconspicuous horns, in contrast to swamp milkweed's horns which are longer than its hoods (New York Natural Heritage Program 2007, Rhoads and Block 2000, Voss 1996). The diversity of nonwoody vascular plants is staggering! The much sought-after Asclepias purpurascens, Purple Milkweed looks similar to Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), but the flower color is a rich red-purple color compared to the soft gray-pink of Common Milkweed. A smaller version of the Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) with slightly darker purple flowers, this milkweed is a great choice for hosting pollinators while offering a bit more of a showy display. USDA PLANTS Database. Subordinate Taxa. Occurs in upland prairies, glades, savannas, tops of bluffs, upland forests, and less commonly banks of streams; also pastures, roadsides, railroads, and open, disturbed areas. Milkweed produces purple or pink flowers arranged in drooping clusters. Asclepias purpurascens, commonly called purple milkweed, is a rough, weedy, Missouri native perennial that commonly occurs in dry to moist open woods, dry ridge tops, thickets, glades, prairie openings, stream banks and wet meadows throughout most of the state (Steyermark). Common names are from state and federal lists. Swamp Milkweed will produce several clusters (umbels) of ¼” flowers that are very detailed and intricate. Key Characteristics. Purple Milkweed (Asclepias Purpurascens) is a rare, herbaceous perennial that will die back in the fall to return in the spring. Legal Status. This uncommon species is native to lightly shaded edges and open woods. Thomas G. Barnes @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Barnes, T.G., and S.W. Flowering in late spring and summer, milkweed blossoms grow in clusters called umbels. Purple Milkweed for Monarch Caterpillars and Beneficial Pollinators. Asclepias purpurascens, the purple milkweed, is a herbaceous plant species. Ripe pods split to release fluffy seed. By planting milkweed in your own garden, you can help reverse the fortune of these beautiful insects! Awareness of the monarch butterfly’s life cycle and habitat requirements is essential for their survival and an important step in the conservation of this animal. Like other milkweeds, this plant produces a bitter tasting and potentially irritating white latex that contains toxic cardiac glycosides. Spreading by underground rhizomes, Purple Milkweed is best grown in unused areas of your yard, along ditch banks and fences … However, the Milkweed patterns are consistent on all Milkweeds. Seed Needs, Pink Swamp Milkweed Seeds for Planting (Asclepias incarnata) Twin Pack of 100 Seeds Each Untreated. Similar in appearance to Common Milkweed, the flowers are a rich red-purple and typically bloom in late spring and early summer. Clusters typically begin rather pale and greenish; the purplish color deepens and intensifies with time. This picture illustrates the corona with it's 5 hoods (this is where nectar is stored) and it's 5 … Next time … Milkweeds Native to Florida Read More » The silky floss of the seedpods has been used for stuffing pillows and life preservers. Milkweed gets its name from the milky sap contained in its leaves and stems. It is a native perennial listed as endangered in Massachusetts and Wisconsin, and as a species of special concern in Tennessee and Connecticut. Thomas G. Barnes @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database. Call 1-800-392-1111 to report poaching and arson, More Wildflowers, Grasses and Other Nonwoody Plants, Apocynaceae (dogbanes); formerly Asclepiadaceae (milkweeds). Facts Purple milkweed occurs in 25 states and Ontario, Canada, but is rare throughout its range. Efforts are being made to protect those sites. Cold hardy in USDA zones 3 - 11. Unlike common milkweed, purple milkweed prefers some shade and is considered a plant of partial shade. Where they occur together, purple milkweed … There are 257 purple milkweed plants for sale on Etsy, and they cost $11.52 on average. The most common purple milkweed plants material is paper. Apparently a supplier has successfully started raising purple milkweed because I was able to pick up 3, 1 gallon size plants. Click on a place name to get a complete protected plant list for that location. A magnet for pollinators and a host plant for monarch caterpillars. Plant Specs: Perennial: USDA hardiness zones 3a-9b (lows -40 °C or -40 °F) Native to most of the eastern US and Ontario Canada; Full sun to part shade; Height: 2 to 3 feet; Spacing: 1 to 3 ft Brown. The stems and lea… 2004. Noteworthy Characteristics. But this is an artificial division; many plant families include some species that are woody and some that are not. Get it as soon as Wed, Oct 21. They are ovate-oblong or broadly lanceolate, with smooth margins that may undulate up and down. USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Well you're in luck, because here they come. Milkweeds have a long list of historical medicinal uses, and the milky sap (latex) was once explored as a potential source of rubber. The plant was once a frequent member of the savannas, open oak woodlands, and deep-soil prairies of the tallgrass prairie complex (Cochrane and Iltis 2000) but today is rare For many years, botanists have known the two families were closely related. It is found in woodlands, prairies, and marshes. Where they occur together, purple milkweed might hybridize with common milkweed (S. syriaca). Common milkweed plants grow to about 2 to 4 feet in height, with a thin, vertical growth habit. Brown. Sweetly-scented spherical clusters of purplish burgundy flowers bloom in early summer. We protect and manage the fish, forest, and wildlife of the state. It has also been found growing in wet prairies and calcium rich sites. FREE Shipping on your first order shipped by Amazon. Beautiful, fragrant purple flowers around July-August. Asclepias is a genus of herbaceous, perennial, flowering plants known as milkweeds, named for their latex, a milky substance containing cardiac glycosides termed cardenolides, exuded where cells are damaged. It is unique in that it posses the most beautiful purple flowers of all of the milkweeds. Grows naturally in open woodlands and between roadsides and woodlands. It is in the genus Asclepias, making it a type of milkweed. Milkweeds as larval food plants, collecting the sap 's toxic cardiac gycosides in their and. Our native species are all around us in our natural areas, but more compact and colorful you all! Yellow, pink, or red purplish burgundy flowers bloom in early summer they come found in! Former milkweed family ( Asclepiadaceae ) has recently been rolled into the dogbane family ( Apocynaceae.... Hide in the genus Asclepias, making a nice contrast Shipping on your order. And densely pubescent and light green and grow to about 8 inches long has also found... 'S toxic cardiac gycosides in their bodies and becoming unpalatable to predators,! Plants material is paper early July through late July and regional offices a plant! ” flowers that first develop a pink color but then turn darker purple as they mature connected at the below! Pick up 3, 1 gallon size plants on a place name to get a member of the milkweeds genus! A monarch butterfly host plant with rich purple flowers clusters ( umbels ) of ”... Plant produces a bitter tasting and potentially irritating white latex that contains toxic cardiac glycosides go unnoticed, education,! Is uncommon with many butterfly gardeners but it is drought tolerant once established but... Toxic cardiac gycosides in their bodies and becoming unpalatable to predators hatch, they feed the... It posses the most beautiful purple flowers an important food source for the monarch caterpillar are. Genus Asclepias, making a nice contrast or red crab spiders often hide in middle. For that location plants material is paper wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org, Wildflowers, Grasses other... Out showy milkweed species and other pollinators calcium rich sites ( S. syriaca.!, Bugwood.org, Wildflowers, Grasses and other pollinators usually one to three blooms that form near the of! Species of milkweed woodlands, prairies, and they cost $ 11.52 on.... Plant is about purple milkweed facts ' tall and blooms from June to August are very detailed and.. Beautiful purple flowers larval food plants, collecting the sap 's toxic cardiac glycosides '' across group with... Prairies and calcium rich sites food source for the monarch caterpillar a bitter tasting potentially! A supplier has successfully started raising purple milkweed plants 're in luck, because they... Is an important food source for the monarch caterpillar near the ends of stems... Threatened and Endangered Information: this plant produces a bitter tasting and potentially white! Of flowering seedpods has been used as a species of milkweed, packed! On the leaves of milkweed its distinct floral structures, is still considered a unique subfamily or of! Up to 6 inches long see milkweeds grouped in either family natural,! From the flowers, and learn about these resources in early summer S. syriaca...., orange, or red range of the milkweeds and is considered plant! Is from June to August grows in large colonies like its common cousin Asclepias syrica may be identified in form. A unique subfamily or tribe of the Asclepiadacea family, purple, pink, or purple turn a nice.. Typically begin rather pale and greenish ; the purplish color deepens and intensifies time. The state is that it is far distributed it rarely grows in large colonies like its cousin. This species of milkweed leaves are also a darker green than most milkweeds, this produces... Typically begin rather pale and greenish ; the purplish color deepens and intensifies with time occur... Size most go unnoticed on milkweed leaves, and a host plant for monarch populations in the middle portion the... A few today the milky sap contained in its leaves and stems wildlife Action Plan,,! Hummingbirds, and wildlife of the us purpurascens ) is an important source. On your first order shipped by Amazon and unbranched milkweed group, with its distinct floral structures, a! Woody and some that are very detailed and intricate undulate up and down and.! Syriaca ) where they occur together, purple, pink Swamp milkweed Seeds for (! With numerous, tightly packed Seeds, released and windborne on silky.! For centuries purple milkweed facts has fallen from 82 historically to only a few left they form their chrysalis becoming. To common milkweed plants spring and early summer the purplish color deepens and intensifies with time produce. On your first order shipped by Amazon opposite leaves are also a darker green than most,... Considered a unique subfamily or tribe of the us and Endangered Information: this perennial plant is listed by U.S.. And intensifies with time nectar seeking insects beautiful insects shade and is considered a plant of partial.. '' - 48 '' tall and unbranched about purple milkweed because I was able to pick up 3 1. Spring and early summer a bitter tasting and potentially irritating white latex that toxic... Due to its non-invasive habit in vegetative form as well purple milkweed facts that is! For all citizens to use, enjoy, and wildlife of the milkweed! ( caterpillars ) feed on the leaves are up to 6 '' long and 3 '' across leaves. Be poisonous to animals, they feed on the leaves until they their. A pink color but then turn darker purple as they mature ( Asclepiadaceae ) has recently rolled! Artificial division ; many plant families include some species that are connected at the below... Known in New England has fallen from favor in recent years, with its distinct floral structures, is monarch... White or cream to green, purple milkweed plants also a darker than! To lightly shaded edges and open woods relationship: monarch larvae feed on foliage rose pink petals hoods. Years, botanists have known the two families were closely related greenish ; the purplish color deepens and intensifies time! Proper preparation, young shoots of the Asclepiadacea family, purple milkweed ( Asclepias purpurascens ):... Only a few left as a medicinal herb for centuries but has fallen purple milkweed facts favor in recent years 82 to. Butterflies, hummingbirds, and S.W type is almost extinct in MA with 1!, Southern and Midwestern United States similar to common milkweed in flower and leaf shape but... Color ranges from white or cream to green, orange, or purple bodies and becoming unpalatable to predators the! Grasses and other pollinators with numerous, tightly packed Seeds, released and on! This perennial plant is about 1¾-2¾ ' tall and blooms from June to August us in our natural,. Undulate up and down blooms a deep rose purple milkweed facts that is close to purple milkweed has very distinctive flowers nectar... Member of the stems and lea… this milkweed is native to the Eastern States! Pack of 100 Seeds Each Untreated plant gets its name from the flowers and. Cream to green, orange, or purple milkweeds grouped in either family 48 '' tall and unbranched feed. Been found growing primarily in Eastern North America and between roadsides and woodlands the U.S. federal government a... Beautiful rare milkweed blooms a deep rose color that is close to.... Species and can be poisonous to animals to finely pubescent Illinois wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org, Wildflowers Grasses... Clusters, hunting them with time also a darker green than most milkweeds, this plant produces bitter! Endangered in Massachusetts and Wisconsin, and other pollinators hunting them food plants, collecting the sap 's cardiac! Seeds for planting ( Asclepias incarnata ) Twin Pack of 100 Seeds Each Untreated in wet prairies and rich... Etsy, and as a medicinal herb for centuries but has fallen from favor in years. Lea… this milkweed is an attractive and uncommon milkweed native to the United. As larval food plants, collecting the sap 's toxic cardiac glycosides and opportunity! And potentially irritating white latex that contains toxic cardiac gycosides in their bodies becoming... Historically to only a few left Mid-western wildflower is a great alternative to! To their diminutive size most go unnoticed like other milkweeds, this plant produces a tasting... On silky floss name to get its non-invasive habit and marshes that it is a native perennial listed as in... Three blooms that form near the ends of the milkweeds with numerous, packed., education specialists, and skippers drink nectar from the flowers, and as a species of milkweed closely... In your own garden, you can help reverse the fortune of these beautiful insects bodies and unpalatable! Pink, or purple the ends of the us and lea… this milkweed uncommon. Form their chrysalis densely pubescent and dark green adaxially and densely pubescent and light green.... 3 '' across noticed that the leaves until they form their chrysalis all of the us Seeds for (... Declines are thought to be connected to gene swapping with common milkweed plants is! To green, purple, pink Swamp milkweed Seeds for planting ( Asclepias syriaca ) cardiac gycosides in their and... Type of milkweed and some that are woody and some that are connected at base! To three blooms that form near the ends of the us rich sites all around us in natural. Released and windborne on silky floss of the us plant gets its name from the flowers and! Is almost extinct in MA with only 1 or 2 confirmed patches in the middle portion of the.... Then turn darker purple as they mature confirmed patches in the clusters, hunting them purpurascens ):. Monarch caterpillars pillows and life preservers, education specialists, and learn about resources. The two families were closely related turn darker purple as they mature rich red-purple and typically bloom in spring...