Asclepias syriaca
common milkweed

Asclepias syriaca

Asclepias syriaca
Asclepias syriaca
Photo courtesy Renee Brecht
Britton & Brown
Botanical name: Asclepias syriaca L.
Common name: common milkweed
Synonomy: Asclepias intermedia Vail
Asclepias kansana Vail
Asclepias syriaca L. var. kansana (Vail) Palmer & Steyerm.
Group: dicot
Family: Asclepiadaceae
Growth type: forb/herb
Duration: annual
Origin: native
Plant height: 2 - 5'
Foliage: leaves opposite, entire
Flower: 1/2" flowers in 2" clusters, pink to pale purple
Flowering time: June to August, fruit July to September
Habitat: rich dry fields, roadsides
Range in New Jersey: throughout north Jersey and the Inner Coastal Plain south to Cumberland County
Heritage ranking, if any: n/a
Misc. The milky latex contains glycosides, making the leaves toxic for animals. Its fiber has been explored by USDA for commercial processing.
The plant is used by the larvae of Monarch butterflies.