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(Asclepias exaltata)
Poke Milkweed

Host Plant: Monarchs

Nectar Plant: Bumblebees, hoverflies, Monarch (Danaus plexippus) butterflies, moths, and ants

Flower Color/Time: green and white/late spring to summer

Growth Habit: Herbaceous perennial that grows 2-6 feet tall

Range in North America: Eastern North America

Exposure: Shade to partial sun, but can tolerate full sun on forest edges

Hardiness: Zones 3-7

Soil Requirements: moist, well-drained soil

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Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata)

White flowers of poke milkweed (Asclepias exaltata).
White Flowers of Poke Milkweed — “Asclepias exaltata” by kevinliam is marked with CC0 1.0.

Description of Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata)

Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata), a member of the Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family), is a herbaceous perennial that has green and white flowers that bloom in the late spring and summer.  These plants are known to be deer resistant, but are not rabbit resistant.  This plant, like a lot of milkweeds, is aromatic when in bloom.  More information about this species can be found on this blog post.

Alternative Names

No other common names known.

Hosted Species

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

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

Poke Milkweed is a nectar plant to many other insects.

Range of Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata) in the United States and Canada

Range map of poke milkweed (Asclepias exaltata) in the United States and Canada.

 

Poke Milkweed is often found in woodlands and woodland edges on moist well-drained soil.  It is native to eastern North America except Florida.

Interesting Facts about this Plant

The sap of this plant, as well as other milkweeds make Monarch butterflies unpalatable to predators.  This same sap is toxic to humans.

Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata) Links

Webpages

Minnesota Wildflowers

Bring Back the Monarchs

Videos

Capital Naturalist

 

Native Location

Ontario, Quebec, Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

Zone 3, Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7

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Poke Milkweed”

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