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(Asclepias speciosa)
Showy Milkweed

Host Plant: Monarch Butterfly

Nectar Plant: many insects

Flower Color: Pink

Growth Habit: Herbaceous perennial plant that grows to 4 feet tall

Range in North America: Western and Midwest North America

Exposure: Full sun

Hardiness: Zones 4-9

Soil Requirements: moist to dry, well-drained soil

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Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa)

Pink flower cluster of showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa).
Flowers of Showy Milkweed — Matt Lavin from Bozeman, Montana, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Alternative Names

No other common names known.

Description of Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa)

Showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa), a member of Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family), is a herbaceous perennial that has pink, green, and purple flowers and grows to 1-3 feet high.  This plant can have weedy characteristics.

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

Many other butterflies use this plant as a nectar source.


Showy milkweed grows in open areas such as fields, roadsides, and waste places.

Range of Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) in the United States and Canada

Range map of showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) in the United States and Canada.

Interesting Facts

The genus name, Asclepias, comes from the Greek name of the God of Medicine.  The species name, speciosa, is Latin for “Showy.” (Missouri Botanical Garden).


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Showy Milkweed”

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