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.