Use the 'back' button on your browser to return, if
Also found along
forest margins where the light is good.
Milkweed Family (Asclepiadaceae)
A tall (3 - 6') rhizome-spreading plant
with slightly drooping purplish to pink flower
clusters, 2 - 3 inches in diameter. The plant is
unbranched, with broadly oval leaves.
June to August
Old fields, fencerows, roadsides and
The veining of the leaves
have a characteristic wavy margin line.
Milkweed gets its name from the milky
sap it oozes when bruised or broken (leaves, stems
The 'milk' contains cardiac glycosides,
possibly related to digitalis which is used in
treating heart disease. Several insect and insect
larvae (Milkweed bug, monarch butterfly, etc.) feed
almost exclusively on this plant and thus become
toxic to birds and other predators. Interestingly,
the insects display their toxicity with strong
patterns of black and orange (One of natures
warning flags). In parts of Appalachia, the milky
sap is used to treat warts and moles.
of the flower shows an intricate pattern
of 5 petals and a 5-part central
My observations about this plant can be found at:
If you're interested in the California varieties, try the
A more scientific addressing of the milkweed and the
whole family is at