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Asclepias purpurascens (Purple Milkweed)

Asclepias purpurascens (Purple Milkweed)
Asclepias purpurascens (Purple Milkweed) Asclepias purpurascens (Purple Milkweed) Asclepias-purpurascens-Purple-Milkweed-garden Asclepias-purpurascens-Purple-Milkweed-flower Asclepias-purpurascens-Purple-Milkweed-closeup Asclepias-purpurascens-Purple-Milkweed-seed

Asclepias purpurascens or Purple Milkweed looks similar to Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), but the flower color is a rich red-purple color compared to the soft gray-pink of Common Milkweed. There are usually one to three blooms that form near the ends of the stems in late spring, early summer.

The flower is held above the leaves on stems a bit longer then Common Milkweed’s and the umbel itself is stiff, and holds a nicely rounded form, while that of the Common will flop a bit. Blooms can last for about a month and if seed is not set it will occasionally re-bloom. The average height is around 3 feet, but it will sometimes go to 4 feet. The flowers will attract a variety of nectar-seeking insects from the very small to the large - Bumble Bees and of course, Monarch Butterflies.  The leaves are big, around 6-8 inches and they taper to a point at both ends. The mid-vein in the leaves is tinted with the same color as the flower.

Grow Asclepias purpurascens in a site that is well drained but has ample moisture. It seems to prefer a bit of shade but will do well in full sun if it gets deep, regular watering. This Milkweed will not spread aggressively like the Common does. The seed pods are smooth and a little more slender than those of Common Milkweed which has plump pods with a prickly surface.


Details
Catalog Number ASC09F
Seeds / Packet 30
Seeds / Ounce 4,500
Germination Code C(30)
Wetland Code FACU
Sun Exposure Full Sun  Part Shade 
Soil Moisture Wet-Mesic  Mesic (Medium)  Dry-Mesic 
Height 3 feet 
Bloom Color Purple 
Bloom Time June  July 
Plant Type Wildflowers (Forbs) 
Availability Seeds 
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Asclepias purpurascens (Purple Milkweed)
Asclepias purpurascens (Purple Milkweed)
Asclepias-purpurascens-Purple-Milkweed-garden
Asclepias-purpurascens-Purple-Milkweed-flower
Asclepias-purpurascens-Purple-Milkweed-closeup
Asclepias-purpurascens-Purple-Milkweed-seed
Asclepias purpurascens (Purple Milkweed)
*This map shows the native and adventive range of this species. **Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.
BONAP Map Key
Present in state Present in county; native to state Not present in state  
Present in county, adventive in state    
Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed)
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North American Native Plants for Restoration and Gardening