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(Asclepias amplexicaulis)
Clasping Milkweed

Host Plant: Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) and Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus)

Nectar Plant: Monarchs, and other butterflies and insects

Flower Color: green with pinkish-purple to tan tinge

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial that grows 1 to 3 feet tall

Range in North America: United States east of the Great Plains, except for Maine

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Hardiness: Zones 3-9

Soil Requirements: moist to well-drained sandy to rocky soil

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Clasping Milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis)

Flowers of clasping milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis) in a forest.
Mason Brock (Masebrock), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Alternative Names

Blunt-leaved Milkweed and Sand Milkweed

Description of Clasping Milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis)

Clasping Milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis), a member of the Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family), is a herbaceous perennial that grows from 1 to 3 feet tall and has green flowers with pinkish/purple to tan tint flowers that bloom in the spring and summer (roughly June to July). The flowers can have a rose-like scent. The leaves are simple, opposite, crenate, ovate in shape, and are 3-6 inches in length and 1-3 inches wide. This plant grows in zones 3-9 and likes open areas with full sun or partial shade that have moist to well-drained soil. Often this plant is found in places that are rocky and/or sandy.  More information about Clasping Milkweed can be on this blog post.

Hosted Species

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Monarch butterfly on green flower.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus)

Queen butterfly on yellow flower.
ALAN SCHMIERER, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many species of bees use this plant as a nectar source.

Range of Clasping Milkweed in the United States and Canada



Range map of clasping milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis) in the United States and Canada. Range Map of Clasping Milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis) in the United States and Canada.



Sandy Woodland Habitat in Delaware.

Clasping Milkweed is found in prairies, open sandy woodlands, roadsides/railroads, savannas, and fields with full sun or partial shade. It can live in conditions that have full sun or partial shade with moist to well-drained soil.

Interesting Facts

The genus name, Asclepias, is the Greek name for the God of Medicine.



Native Location

Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9


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Clasping Milkweed”

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