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Asclepias speciosa

Asclepias speciosa
showy milkweed
Asclepias speciosa
Cluster of purple buds in mid-June

Common name showy milkweed
Family apocynaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z3-9)
Flowers pink (summer)
Size 2-3'
Light sun
From seed easy, germinate at room temperature
detailed seed-starting info below

Distinguished from common milkweed by a layer of fine white hairs on the leaves, which gives them a silvery appearance, and by the crown-like shape of the individual flowers. I'm afraid that the plants I'm growing are actually common milkweed, in another case of mistaken seed identity. Attractive to monarch butterflies. Four years after growing some plants from seed, they are finally ready to bloom. In the preceding years, they were already quite robust, and developed their tendency to run all through the garden by their roots, sometimes sending up stalky plants several feet away from the nearest species-mate. I may decide to eradicate them because of this tendency, but I really wanted to see the flowers before I did so. This year, I got the opportunity to do just that.

showy milkweed
Stocky new growth emerging in early to mid spring.

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '06 trade. Baggy 70F (92%G, 8d)
  2. Seed from NARGS '08/'09 exchange. Baggy 70F (9d; 30%G, 6-9d) - 75F (70%G, 3-7d)

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