Asclepias speciosa

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Asclepias speciosa
Asclepias speciosa1jakesmome.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Asclepias
Species: A. speciosa
Binomial name
Asclepias speciosa

Asclepias speciosa is a milky-sapped perennial plant in the Dogbane Family (Apocynaceae), known commonly as the showy milkweed.[1]

Habitat and range[edit]

It is native to the western half of North America.

Growth pattern[edit]

This flowering plant is a hairy, erect perennial.

Leaves and stems[edit]

The large, pointed, elongate, simple, entire leaves are arranged oppositely on stalks.

Inflorescense and fruit[edit]

The eye-catching, hirsute, pale pink through pinkish-purple flowers occur in dense umbellate cymes. Their corollas are reflexed and the central flower parts, five hoods with prominent hooks, form a star shape. The fruit is a large, rough follicle filled with many flat oval seeds, each with silky hairs.

This species flowers from May through September.[1]


Native Americans used fiber in the stems for rope, basketry, and nets.[1] Some Native Americans believed the milky sap had medicinal qualities, however, most species of milkweed are toxic.[1]


Asclepias speciosa is a specific Monarch butterfly food and habitat plant.


  1. ^ a b c d Sierra Nevada Wildflowers, Karen Wiese, 2nd Ed. 2013, p. 60.

External links[edit]