Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens)
- Family: Milkweed (Asclepiadaceae)
- Flowering: May-July.
- Field Marks: This is the only milkweed with completely red-purple flowers and stalked leaves.
- Habitat: Along streams, wet meadows; sometimes in drier habitats.
- Habit: Perennial herb with rhizomes.
- Stems: Erect, usually unbranched, short-hairy, up to 3 feet tall.
- Leaves: Opposite, simple, elliptic to oblong, rounded or pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, without teeth, short-hairy on the lower surface, up to 6 inches long, up to 1 1/2 inches broad.
- Flowers: Several borne in umbels, red-purple, hour-glass-shaped, up to 1/2 inch long.
- Sepals: 5, green, united at base, turning downward.
- Petals: 5, red-purple, united, turning downward, associated with a 5-parted central column.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Follicles hairy, not prickly, up to 5 inches long.
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