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Asclepias purpurascens

Purple Milkweed

Plant Type: Native - Midwest

Asclepias purpurascens, Purple Milkweed looks similar to Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), but the flower color is a rich red purple color compared to the soft gray-pink of Common Milkweed. There are usually one to three blooms that form near the ends of the stems in late spring, early summer.

The flower is held above the leaves on stems a bit longer then Common Milkweed’s and the umbel itself is stiff, and holds a nicely rounded form while that of Common will flop a bit. Blooms can last for about a month and if seed is not set it will occasionally re-bloom. The average height is around 3 feet but it will sometimes go to 4 feet. The flowers will attract a variety of nectar seeking insects from the very small to large Bumble Bees and of course Monarch Butterflies. The leaves are big, around 6-8 inches and they taper to a point at both ends. The mid-vein in the leaves is tinted with the same color as the flower.

Grow Asclepias purpurascens in a site that is well drained but has ample moisture. It seems to prefer a bit of shade but will do well in full sun if it gets deep, regular watering. This Milkweed will not spread aggressively like the Common does. The seed pods are smooth and a little more slender than those of Common Milkweed which has plump pods with a prickly surface.



Growth Habit

FILLER (mounded)

Asclepias purpurascens Plant Care:

Needs ample moisture in full sun.

USDA Hardiness Zone: Zone 3 (-40/-30F)

Purple Milkweed Merit Awards and Special Collections

Purple Milkweed Characteristics & Attributes

Season of Interest

MIDSEASON (May-June), LATE (July-frost)

Mid Season (May - June)
Late Season (July - frost)
Soil Moisture Needs

Moderate to high soil moisture.

Nature Attraction