Most of us remember common milkweed from our youth. Opening the ripe pods and watching the seeds with their silk parachutes float away in the breeze. Milkweed is the host plant for the Monarch Butterfly. They lay their eggs on it and the caterpillars eat the leaves. Eventually the spin their cocoons and emerge as the beautiful, elegant butterfly we all know. Milkweed is becoming less common. Building, herbicide use on farmland and roadside spraying of herbicides has cause a significant loss of these Monarch host plants.
Milkweed flowers are very attractive and they attract many butterflies, bees , beetles and other insects. The flowers are a dusky pink color and are actually cluster of many little flowers. The leaves are bright green and are about 6 to 8 inches long and 3 inches wide. The plant does spread both by seed and underground runners so it needs room to spread. Plant milkweed to help save the Monarch butterfly, benefit from it by using it to separate difference parts of the landscape or to mask eyesores on your property or as the back ground of a perennial border.
Asclepias syriaca - Common milkweed
-Is a host plant for the Monarch Butterfly
-Beautiful dusky rose flowers
-Attracts a wide variety of insects
-Zone: 3 to 9
-Height: 2 to 3 feet