Asclepias speciosa

Showy Milkweed

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Showy milkweed is the western counterpart of common milkweed, found on rocky slopes and waysides. Showy milkweed blooms during summer, with 3-inch spheres of starry pink flowers. The structure of the tiny flowers is complex, with 5 reflexed pink sepals and 5 forward-pointing petals. Each petal has a hood at the base and a little curled horn, giving the flower the appearance of a crown. The flowers of this species have longer petals, and the seedpods are more hairy than common milkweed. New growth and flower stems are densely covered with white down. Growing 3-4 feet tall, the thick, unbranched stems are covered with large, oval, bluish-green leaves filled with a milky, slightly toxic sap. When monarch caterpillars eat the leaves, they become toxic and are avoided by birds.

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 - 9