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Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata)

Host Plant: Monarch Butterflies

Nectar Plant: many insects

Flower Color: white in mid to late summer

Growth Habit: Herbaceous perennial plant that grows to 2 feet tall

Range in North America: Most of North America except western areas

Exposure: Full sun, but will tolerate shade

Hardiness: Zones 3-9

Soil Requirements: Medium moist, tolerates drought once it is established

Eastern Whorled Milkweed and Horsetail Milkweed

Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata), a member of the Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family), is a herbaceous perennial that has white and green flowers, blooms in the spring to summer, and grows to 1 to 2.5 feet tall.  This plant is toxic to livestock.

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

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

Many other insects, especially bees use this plant as a nectar source.

Whorled milkweed is found in open areas and barrens with either full sun or part shade.  It is native to the mid-west and eastern North America.

The species name means “whorled” in Latin (Missouri Botanical Garden).

Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) Links


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Missouri Botanical Garden

North Carolina Extension Gardener


 Robert Klips — shows a honeybee on whorled milkweed


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