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(Asclepias tomentosa)
Velvetleaf Milkweed

Hosted Species: Monarch Butterfly, Queen Butterfly, Soldier Butterfly

Nectar Plant: many insects including other butterflies, bees, and wasps

Flower Color: greenish-yellow

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial that grows from 2 to 3 feet tall

Range in North America: Southeastern United States, except the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

Exposure: Prefers full sun to partial sun in sandy soil of pine woods.

Hardiness: Zones 7-10

Soil Requirements: Dry sandy soil

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Velvetleaf Milkweed (Asclepias tomentosa)

Close-up of flower of velvetleaf milkweed (Asclepias tomentosa).
Flower cluster of Velvetleaf Milkweed — Asclepias tomentosa Elliott collected in United States of America (licensed under CC0 1.0)









Alternative Names

Velvet-leaf Milkweed, Sandhills Milkweed, and Tuba Milkweed

Description of Velvetleaf Milkweed (Asclepias tomentosa)

Velvetleaf Milkweed (Asclepias tomentosa), a member of the Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family), is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows 2′ to 3′ tall and blooms in the spring and summer (May to July).  The fruits, which are follicles, mature in the late summer to fall.

More about Velvetleaf Milkweed can be found on this blog post.

Hosted Species

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on goldenrod.
Monarch Butterfly on Goldenrod — ALAN SCHMIERER from southeast AZ, USA, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nectar Species

Other butterflies, bees, and wasps use this plant as a nectar source.


This milkweed grows in open areas such as fields and meadows having full sun to partial shade.

Range of Velvetleaf Milkweed (Asclepias tomentosa)

Range map of Tuba Milkweed (Asclepias tomentosa) in the United States and Canada.

Interesting Facts

The genus name, Asclepias, is the Greek name for the God of Medicine.  The species name, tomentosa, is Latin for the pubescence on the leaves.

Native Location

Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9, Zone 10


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Velvetleaf Milkweed”

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