Asclepias exaltata

Poke Milkweed

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This uncommon species is found in open woodlands, and it looks like a tall, spindly version of the more robust common milkweed. It grows to 5 feet tall with large, glossy, opposite broad leaves that come to a narrow point. It blooms in early June, when it is topped with loose clusters of drooping, starry, white flowers with swept-back green sepals. The flowers and flower stalks may have a tinge of lavender. It is exalted by naturalists, who consider it an indicator of a good quality woodland habitat. Its common name, poke milkweed, may derive from its resemblance to the more toxic pokeweed, which grows in the same habitat. Bumblebees, butterflies, and many beetles are attracted to this species.

Plant Shape
Full Sun
Bloom Time
May - June, July - August
Bloom Color
Landscape Use
Bedding or Border
Wildlife Interest
Attracts Butterflies, Resistant To Deer
Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
3 - 8