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Heart-Leaf Milkweed (Asclepias cordifolia)

Host Plant: Monarch Butterfly

Nectar Plant: many other butterflies

Flower Color: red, burgundy, purple

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial to grows to 6 feet tall

Range in North America: California, Nevada, and Oregon

Exposure: Full Sun to partial shade

Hardiness: Zones 7-10

Soil Requirements: well-drained rocky soil

Alternate Names:  Purple Milkweed

Purple Milkweed

Heart-Leaf Milkweed (Asclepias cordifolia), a member of the Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family), is a herbaceous perennial that grows to 6 feet tall and has red to purple flowers that bloom in the spring and summer.  More information about this species can be found on this blog post.

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Monarch Butterfly on Goldenrod – ALAN SCHMIERER from southeast AZ, USA, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many other butterflies use this plant as a nectar source.

Heart-leaf milkweed is found growing in coniferous woodlands and dry rocky slopes.  It is native to California, Nevada, and Oregon.

Native Americans used the fibers of this plant to make ropes and nets (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center).  The species names refers to the heart-shaped leaves.

Heart-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias cordifolia) Links


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center


Suzie Savoie


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