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17 Irresistible St. Joseph, MO Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) to Grow for Butterflies

List of St. Joseph, Missouri Native or Nearly Native Milkweeds

Turn your butterfly garden in St. Joseph, Missouri into a butterfly buffet with milkweeds that can be grown in your area. Milkweeds, which host the monarch and queen butterflies, come in a variety of colors and are great nectar plants as well. With milkweeds you get a two for one, an important host plant and an excellent nectar plant. Add milkweed to your list of native plants that can be grown in your garden.

There are seventeen of native or nearly native species of milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) that can potentially be grown for Monarchs, the Queen Butterfly, and as a nectar plant for other insects. The Monarch and Queen butterflies use the cardenolides found in the milky sap of milkweeds to give an unpleasant taste to predators. These plants are also an important nectar source to all insects visiting your pollinator garden.

Location of St. Joseph, Missouri

Buchanon county, Missouri with St. Joseph highlighted.
Buchanon County with St. Joseph, Missouri Arkyan, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

St. Joseph, Missouri is located in northwestern Missouri north of Kansas City. The species covered in this post cover those found in Buchanon County.

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones in St. Joseph, Missouri

2023 USDA plant hardiness zones for the state of Missouri in the United States.
2023 USDA Plant Hardiness Zones for the State of Missouri — USDA Public Domain

St. Joesph, Missouri and most of Buchanon County are located in plant hardiness zone 6a. A small portion of south-central Buchanon County is located in zone 6b. When selecting plants, you will want to get those that can handle temperatures as cold as -100F to be sure they will survive.

Butterflies in St. Joseph, Missouri that are hosted by Milkweeds (Asclepias spp.)

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).
Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on a Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) — Robert Coxe, Image
Queen Butterfly on Twig.
Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus) — Korall, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

The monarch butterfly has a wingspan of 3 in (7.6 cm) to 5 in (12.7 cm) and is one of the most inconic butterflies in North America. Because of its association with milkweed and migration, it is often a bellweather of changes in the environment. The distinctive orange and black coloring is one that a number of butterflies try to mimic since the monarch is distasteful to predators. The bad taste comes from the ingestion of cardenolides of the milkweed by the butterfly. This butterfly can have several broods in a year and is known for its migrations to Mexico.

Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus)

The queen butterfly is one of the mimics of the monarch butterfly described above and has an orange and black coloration. However, the queen has a more solid orange color and wing edges with a brownish hue. While looking like the monarch, it is smaller with a wingspan of 2.5 in (6.4 cm) to 4 in (10.2 cm). In the south this butterfly can breed year-round, but in the north it breeds from April to November. Unlike the monarch, this species does not migrate. In the St. Joesph area, this species is often a stray from the south.

List of Milkweeds that are Native or Nearly Native in St. Joseph, Missouri

1. Clasping Milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis), a Milkweed for Dry Soils

Clasping Milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis): Clasping milkweed is native to scattered locations through Missouri (Kartesz 2015). In the wild, clasping milkweed grows in dry woodlands, prairies, meadows, and roadsides having sandy or gravelly soil. Growing up to 3 feet tall, this plant has greenish-pink, red, brown, to purple flowers bloom from March to September. This milkweed is native to counties adjacent to Buchanon County and can be grown in its hardiness zone.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, clasping milkweed is hardy in zones 3-9 and requires full sun to part-shade with dry sandy soil. Seeds of clasping milkweed can be purchased in the McMullen House Bed & Breakfast Garden Shop.

Plant of clasping milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis) with pink flowers in a wooded area.
Clasping Milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis) — Mason Brock (Masebrock), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Pinkish flowers of clasping milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis) in a field, a Raleigh milkweed.
Flowers of Clasping Milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis) — cassi saari, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Reddish-pink flowers of clasping milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis) in a field.
Flowers of Clasping Milkweed — “Asclepias amplexicaulis – Clasping Milkweed” by FritzFlohrReynolds is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

2. Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata), a Milkweed for Moist Soils

Poke Milkweed (Ascelpias exaltata): Poke milkweed is native in one county in southeastern Missouri and a few counties in Iowa (Kartesz 2015). In the wild, this milkweed is found in moist woods, roadsides, and the edges of woods. Growing 2 to 6 feet tall, it is one of the taller milkweeds, and has flowers that are white to green with accents of rose, purple, or blue. The flowers bloom from April to August. While not native near to St. Joseph, this milkweed is native somewhat nearby and can be grown in the plant hardiness zone of St. Joseph. If you have a wooded area in your garden this species could be a good choice.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, poke milkweed is hardy in zones 3-9, requires part-shade to shade, and moist soil. Poke milkweed seeds can be purchased in the McMullen House Bed & Breakfast Garden Shop.

Greenish-white flowers of poke milkweed (Asclepias exaltata) in a wooded area.
Flowers of Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata) — Dendroica cerulea, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Plant of poke milkweed with white flowers in a wooded habitat.
Poke Milkweed in a Wooded Area — “Asclepias exaltata” by kevinliam is marked with CC0 1.0.
White flowers of poke milkweed (Asclepias exaltata) in a wooded area.
Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata) — homeredwardprice, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

3. Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), a Milkweed for Moist Soils

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata): Swamp milkweed has two subspecies, ssp. incarnata and ssp. pulchra. The former is found throughout Missouri (hardy in zones 3-9), while the latter is not found in Missouri (Kartesz 2015). This species is native in the St. Joseph area. Like the name suggests this plant is found in wet places such as the shores of streams, lakes, ponds, and other wetlands. This is one of the taller milkweeds growing from 3 to 5 feet tall. The flowers, which bloom from July to September, are generally a pink to red color, but there is also a white cultivar (pictured below).

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, swamp milkweed it is hardy in zones 3-9, requires full sun to part-shade and prefers moist to medium moisture soil, but can exist in drier soil in a landscape setting. Seeds for swamp milkweed can be purchased in the McMullen House Bed & Breakfast Garden Shop.

Pink flowers of swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) from Pennsylvania.
Flowers of Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) — Cbaile19, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) 'Ice Ballet' cultivar.
‘Ice Ballet’ cultivar of Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) — Photo by and (c)2009 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man), GFDL 1.2, via Wikimedia Commons
Follicles (fruits) of swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) in a garden.
Follicles — “Swamp milkweed, rose milkweed, asclepias incarnata, new England native garden” by sapienssolutions is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

4. Long-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias longifolia), a Milkweed for Moist Soils

Long-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias longifolia): Long-leaf milkweed has two varieties, var. hirtella and var. longifolia. Of these var. hirtella occurs throughout Missouri except for the southeast (Kartesz 2015). In the wild, long-leaf milkweed grows in moist areas and wetlands such as bogs, swamps, flatwoods, and prairies having full sun. Growing from 1 to 2.5 feet tall, the greenish-white flowers bloom from April to July. This milkweed is native to the St. Joseph area.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, long-leaf milkweed is hardy in zones 4-9, requires full sun, and moist to wet soils.

Purple flowers of long-leaf milkweed (Asclepias longifolia).
Long-leaf Milkweed with purplish flowers — Asclepias longifolia Michx. observed in United States of America by Justin (licensed under CC0 1.0)
Yellowish-pink flowers of long-leaf milkweed (Asclepias longifolia).
Yellowish Flowers of Long-leaf Milkweed — Public Domain Image
Pink flower cluster of long-leaf milkweed (Asclepias longifolia) in an open area.
Flowers of Long-leaf Milkweed — Asclepias longifolia Michx. observed in United States of America by cnagele (licensed under CC0 1.0)

5. Oval-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias ovalifolia), a Milkweed for Well-drained High pH Soil

Oval-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias ovalifolia): Oval-leaf milkweed is not native to Missouri but is native nearby in Iowa (Kartesz 2015). In the wild, oval-leaf milkweed grows in open areas having full sun or partial shade such as prairies, grasslands, savannas, railroad edges, and alluvial terraces. It is one of the shorter milkweeds and grows to about 2 feet tall. and has white, pink, or green flowers that bloom from May to August. While not native to the St. Joseph, this milkweed can handle the plant hardiness zone of this area.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, oval-leaf milkweed is hardy in zones 5-9, requires full sun to part-shade and well-drained high pH soil. Oval-leaf milkweed seeds can be purchased in the McMullen House Bed & Breakfast Garden Shop.

Plant of oval-leaf milkweed (Asclepias ovalifolia) with white flowers.
White Flowers of Oval-leaf Milkweed — Asclepias ovalifolia Decne. observed in United States of America by msieges (licensed under CC0 1.0)
Pinkish-white flowers of oval-leaf milkweed (Asclepias ovalifolia).
Oval-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias ovalifolia) — Justin Meissen from St Paul, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Plant of oval-leaf milkweed (Asclepias ovalifolia) in a field.
Oval-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias ovalifolia) — USFWS Mountain-Prairie, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

6. Aquatic Milkweed (Asclepias perennis), a Milkweed for Moist Soils

Aquatic Milkweed (Asclepias perennis): Aquatic milkweed is native in southeastern Missouri (Kartesz 2015). In the wild, aquatic milkweed grows in open areas having full sun or partial shade such as prairies, grasslands, savannas, railroad edges, and alluvial terraces. Growing from 1 to 3.5 feet tall, this milkweed has white, pink, or green flowers that bloom from May to August. This milkweed is native to Missouri, but not near St. Joseph. However, this milkweed can grow in the plant hardiness zone of St. Joseph. With climate change induced warming, there should be more hardiness zone buffer in the future.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, aquatic milkweed is hardy in zones 5-9, requires full sun to part-sun, and moist soils.

Aquatic milkweed (Asclepias perennis) with white flowers in floodplain forest.
Aquatic Milkweed in a Wooded Area — Asclepias perennis Walter observed in United States of America by Étienne Lacroix-Carignan (licensed under CC0 1.0)
Aquatic milkweed (Asclepias perennis) with white flowers in a wetland.
White Flowers of Aquatic Milkweed — Asclepias perennis Walter observed in United States of America by Étienne Lacroix-Carignan (licensed under CC0 1.0)
Plant of aquatic milkweed (Asclepias perennis) with white flowers in a wetland.
Aquatic Milkweed in a Wetland — Asclepias perennis Walter observed in United States of America by Jody Shugart (licensed under CC BY 4.0)

7. Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens), a Milkweed for Moist Soils

Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens): Purple milkweed is native throughout Missouri and is native in the St. Joseph area (Kartesz 2015). In the wild, purple milkweed grows in moist to dry places having full sun to part shade such as swamps, woodlands, meadows, roadsides, and dry fields. Growing up to 6 feet tall, the purple to pink flowers bloom from May to July.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, purple milkweed is hardy in zones 3-8 and requires part-shade, but can handle full sun. Soils should be moist and well-drained, but dry soil can be tolerated. Seeds for purple milkweed can be purchased in the McMullen House Bed & Breakfast Garden Shop.

Close-up of pinkish-purple flowers of purple milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens).
Flower cluster of Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) — Steepcone, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Plants of purple milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens).
Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) — peganum from Henfield, England, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Plant of purple milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) with purple flowers.
Purple Milkweed with Purple Flowers — Asclepias purpurascens L. observed in United States of America by Jim Bowhay (licensed under CC0 1.0)

8. Four-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia), a Milkweed for Dry Rocky Soils

Four-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia): Four-leaf milkweed is native primarily in most of Missouri, except for St. Joseph area (Kartesz 2015). However, this species is nearly native and can handle the plant hardiness zone. In the wild, four-leaf milkweed grows in open places with full sun such as roadsides, pastures, and prairies. Growing from 1 to 3 feet, four-leaf milkweed has cream to pink flowers bloom from April to July.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, four-leaf milkweed is hardy in zones 5-8 and grows best in places of full sun to part-shade with dry rocky soils.

Plant of four-leaf milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia) in a wooded area.
Four-leaf Milkweed with Lavender Flowers — User:Halpaugh, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Pinkish flowers of four-leaf milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia).
Flowers of Four-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia) — User:Halpaugh, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Plant of four-leaf milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia) with white flowers.
Four-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia) — Eric Hunt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

9. Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa), a Milkweed for Medium to Dry Soils

Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa): Showy milkweed is aventive to two counties in Missouri, but is native just to the west in Kansas (Kartesz 2015). This nearly native milkweed can handle to the plant hardiness zone of St. Joseph. In the wild, showy milkweed grows mesic to dry open areas such as roadsides, fields, and woodlands. Growing from 1 to 3 feet tall, this plant has purple to pink flowers that bloom from April to June.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, showy milkweed is hardy in zones 3-9, and requires places of full sun having medium to dry well-drained soil. Seeds of showy milkweed can be purchased in the McMullen House Bed & Breakfast Garden Shop.

Pinkish flowers of showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa).
Flowers of Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) — Matt Lavin from Bozeman, Montana, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Pinkish-white flowers of showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa).
Asclepias speciosa Torr. observed in Canada by markeambard (licensed under CC0 1.0)
Follicle of showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa).
Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) Follicle — John Rusk from Berkeley, CA, United States of America, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

10. Slim-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias stenophylla), a Milkweed for Dry Soils

Slim-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias stenophylla): Slim-leaf milkweed is native to the southern half of Missouri and to the west in Kansas (Kartesz 2015). This milkweed is nearly native to St. Joseph and can handle the plant hardiness zone. In the wild, slim-leaf milkweed grows in open areas with full sun such as prairies and sandy areas. Growing from 0.5 to 3 feet tall, this milkweed has greenish-white flowers that bloom from June to August.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, slim-leaf milkweed is hardy in zones 3-9, and requires full sun and dry sandy or gravelly soils. Seeds of slim-leaf milkweed can be purchased in the McMullen House Bed & Breakfast Garden Shop.

Plant of slim-leaf milkweed (Asclepias stenophylla).
Yellowish Flowers of Slim-leaf Milkweed — Asclepias stenophylla A.Gray observed in United States of America by Craig Martin (licensed under CC0 1.0)
Close-up of Yellowish flowers of slim-leaf milkweed (Asclepias stenophylla).
Flowers of Slim-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias stenophylla) — Samuel A. Schmid, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Plant of slim-leaf milkweed (Asclepias stenophylla) in an open area.
Slim-leaf Milkweed in an open area — Asclepias stenophylla A.Gray observed in United States of America by Craig Martin (licensed under CC0 1.0)

11. Sullivant’s Milkweed (Asclepias sullivantii), a Milkweed for Medium to Dry Soils

Sullivant’s Milkweed (Asclepias sullivantii): Sullivant’s milkweed is native generally in the northern half of Missouri and in St. Joseph (Kartesz 2015). In the wild, Sullivant’s milkweed grows in open areas with full sun such as prairies, meadows, roadsides, and railroads. Growing from 2 to 5 feet tall, it has pink to purplish flowers that bloom from June to July.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, Sullivant’s milkweed is hardy in zones 3-7, and requires full sun, and medium to dry sandy soil. Seeds of Sullivant’s milkweed can be purchased in the McMullen House Bed & Breakfast Garden Shop.

Plant of sullivant's milkweed (Asclepias sullivantii) with pink flowers.
Sullivant’s Milkweed in a field — Asclepias sullivantii Engelm. ex A.Gray observed in United States of America by Nancy Navarre (licensed under CC0 1.0)
Plant of sullivant's milkweed (Asclepias sullivantii) in a field.
Pink Flowers of Sullivant’s Milkweed — Asclepias sullivantii Engelm. ex A.Gray observed in United States of America by samk (licensed under CC0 1.0)
Herbarium specimen of sullivant's milkweed (Asclepias sullivantii).
Herbarium Specimen — Asclepias sullivantii Engelm. ex A.Gray Collected in United States of America by The New York Botanical Garden (licensed under CC BY 4.0)

12. Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), a Milkweed for all Conditions

Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca): Common milkweed is native throughout Missouri and St. Joseph except for a few counties in the southwest (Kartesz 2015). In the wild, common milkweed is found in open areas such as fields, pastures, and roadsides, where it can receive full sun. One of the taller milkweeds, it can grow up to 6 feet tall and has flowers ranging from pink, greenish-purple, greenish-white, to white and bloom from June to August.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, common milkweed is hardy in zones 3-9 and grows in almost any exposure and soil condition, though it prefers full sun. Seeds of common milkweed can be purchased in the McMullen House Bed & Breakfast Garden Shop.

Flowers of Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), a North Carolina milkweed.
Pink Flowers of Common Milkweed in McMullen House Garden — Robert Coxe, Image
Plant of common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) with pink flowers.
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) — Cbaile19, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) with eastern tiger swallowtail.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Common Milkweed — Author Image

13. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), a Milkweed for all Conditions

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa): Butterfly weed is one of the most common for butterfly gardeners on the east coast of the United States. In Missouri, subspecies interior of this species is native throughout the state and in the St. Joseph area (Kartesz 2015). In the wild, butterfly weed grows in open areas with full sun such as fields, roadsides, and open woods. Growing from 1 to 3 feet tall, the characteristically orange flowers bloom throughout the summer and sometimes into the autumn.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, butterfly weed is hardy from zones 3-9 and grows in most conditions, and prefers full sun if possible. Seeds of butterfly weed can be purchased in the McMullen House Bed & Breakfast Garden Shop.

Orange flowers of butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa).
Butterfly Weed with Orange Flowers — Robert Coxe, Image
Monarch butterfly on butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa).
Butterfly Weed with Monarch Butterfly — U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Follicles of butterfly weed showing seeds.
Butterfly Weed Follicles — User:SB_Johnny, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

14. Red-Ring Milkweed (Asclepias variegata), a Milkweed for Dry Rocky or Sandy Soils

Red-Ring Milkweed (Asclepias variegata): Red-ring milkweed is native in southeastern Missouri (Kartesz 2015). While not native ot to the St. Joseph area, this species can handle the plant hardiness zone. In the wild, red-ring milkweed grows thickets, open woods, and roadsides that are dry and rocky or sandy. Growing from 1 to 3 feet tall, this milkweed has white flowers have a purple or red ring that bloom from May to July.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, red-ring milkweed is hardy in zones 3-9, and requires part-sun to part-shade and dry rocky or sandy soils. Seeds of red-ring milkweed can be purchased in the McMullen House Bed & Breakfast Garden Shop.

Close-up of white flowers of red ring milkweed (Asclepias variegata).
Flowers of Red-ring Milkweed (Asclepias variegata) — Masebrock, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Plant of red ring milkweed (Asclepias variegata) in a wooded area.
Red-ring Milkweed in a Wooded Area — “Asclepias variegata” by coatlicue is marked with CC0 1.0.
White flower clusters of red ring milkweed (Asclepias variegata).
Close-up of White Flowers — “Asclepias variegata” by coatlicue is marked with CC0 1.0.

15. Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata), a Milkweed for Medium to Dry Soils

Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata): Whorled milkweed is native throughout Missouri and is native the St. Joseph area (Kartesz 2015). In the wild, whorled milkweed grows in open areas such as meadows and fields, where it can take advantage of full sun. Growing up to 3 feet tall, this milkweed has green to white flowers that bloom from May to September.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, whorled milkweed is hardy in zones 3-9, and requires full sun to part-shade, and medium to dry soil. Seeds of whorled milkweed can be purchased at the McMullen House Bed & Breakfast Garden Shop.

Close-up of white flowers of whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata).
Flowers of Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) — Joshua Mayer (wackybadger), CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Leaves of whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata).
Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) Leaves — Frank Mayfield (gmayfield10), CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
White flowers of whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) in an open area.
Flowers of Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) — Mason Brock (Masebrock), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

16. Green Comet Milkweed (Asclepias viridiflora), a Milkweed for Medium to Dry Soils

Green Comet Milkweed (Asclepias viridiflora): Green comet milkweed is native throughout Missouri and the St. Joseph area (Kartesz 2015). In the wild, green comet milkweed grows in open areas such as meadows and fields where there is full sun. Growing up to 3 feet, it has flowers that begin as a green color but age to become yellow and purple tinged.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, green comet milkweed is hardy in zones 3-9, and requires full sun to part-shade, and medium to dry sandy soil. Seeds of green comet milkweed can be purchased at the McMullen House Bed & Breakfast Garden Shop.

Green flower cluster of green comet milkweed (Asclepias viridiflora).
Flowers of Green Comet Milkweed — Patrick Alexander from Las Cruces, NM, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Plant of green comet milkweed (Asclepias viridiflora).
Green Comet Milkweed (Asclepias viridiflora) — Matt Lavin from Bozeman, Montana, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Leaves of green comet milkweed (Asclepias viridiflora).
Leaves of Green Comet Milkweed — Patrick Alexander from Las Cruces, NM, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

17. Green Milkweed (Asclepias viridis), a Milkweed for Medium to Dry High pH Soils

Green Milkweed (Asclepias viridis): Green comet milkweed is native in the St. Joseph area and throughout Missouri except for the northeastern part of the state (Kartesz 2015). In the wild, green milkweed grows in open areas where it can receive full sun and have high pH such as glades, prairies, roadsides, and pastures. Growing from 0.5 to 2 feet tall it is one of the shortest milkweeds. This milkweed has green, yellowish-green, or white flowers bloom from April to October.

In your St. Joseph, MO butterfly garden, this plant is hardy in zones 5-9, requires full sun, and medium to dry soils with a high pH. Seeds of green milkweed can be purchased at the McMullen House Bed & Breakfast Garden Shop.

Close-up of greenish flowers of green milkweed (Asclepias viridis).
Flowers of Green Milkweed (Asclepias viridis) — Barnes Dr Thomas G, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Green flower cluster of green milkweed (Asclepias viridis).
Green Milkweed with Green Flowers — Asclepias viridis Walter observed in United States of America by Alan Prather (licensed under CC BY 4.0)
Plant of green milkweed (Asclepias viridis).
Green Milkweed Plant in an Open Area — Asclepias viridis Walter observed in United States of America by John Kees (licensed under CC0 1.0)

When selecting your St. Joseph, MO milkweed, be sure to make sure that it grows in your zone and habitat.

Books where you can find out more about Monarchs and Butterfly Gardening in St. Joseph, Missouri

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References for St. Joseph, Missouri Milkweeds

  • Kartesz, J.T. The Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2015. Taxonomic Data Center. Link to website. Chapel Hill, N.C. [maps generated from Kartesz, J.T. 2015. Floristic Synthesis of North America, Version 1.0. Biota of North America Program (BONAP). (in press)]
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Robert Coxe

Robert Coxe

Robert Coxe is a professional ecologist and botanist who has worked as the State Ecologist of Delaware and as an ecologist for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. He is also a former Past-President of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science. He currently is an innkeeper at McMullen House Bed & Breakfast LLC and a web designer and owner for Silphium Design LLC.

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