Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed family)

GROWTH HABIT: Showy milkweed is perennial, 2 to 5 feet tall.

LEAVES: Leaves are opposite, oval-shaped, prominently veined, 4 to 7 inches long, covered with fine, soft hairs.

STEMS: The plant has a grayish-green color and grows erect. All foliage parts exude a milky latex sap when cut.

FLOWER: Flowers are arranged in umbels at the top of the plant and are purplish-pink.


SEEDS: Reddish-brown flat seeds are borne in 3 to 5 inch spindle-shaped pods. Each seed bears a tuft of hairs allowing them to be spread by wind.

OTHER: Common milkweed (A. Syriaca L.) is found on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains. Showy milkweed is a native to North America and is common along roadsides, ditchbanks, pastures and cultivated fields. Colonies form by spreading rootstocks when the plant is not disturbed by tillage practices.

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