Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa)
- Family: Milkweed (Asclepiadaceae)
- Flowering: July-August.
- Field Marks: This species, with greenish purple petals, is larger than the common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, in all respects.
- Habitat: Wet prairies.
- Habit: Stout perennial herb with rhizomes.
- Stems: Erect, branched or unbranched, hairy, up to 6 feet tall, with milky sap.
- Leaves: Opposite, simple, ovate to ovate-lanceolate to oval, pointed at the tip, tapering or rounded at the base, hairy on the lower surface, up to 6 inches long, up to 3 inches broad, with milky sap.
- Flowers: Several borne in umbels, each flower greenish purple, hour-glass-shaped, up to 3/4 inch long.
- Sepals: 5, nearly free from each other, green, turned downward.
- Petals: 5, greenish purple, turned downward, associated with a 5-parted central column.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Follicles ovoid, white-woolly, with soft spines, up to 5 inches long.
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