This species is the hallmark of an effective butterfly garden because of its relationship with the monarch butterfly. The milkweed family (Asclepias) is the only vegetation that can act as host plant species for the monarch butterfly. The common milkweed is a favorite of the monarch butterfly because of it’s robust leaves that provide plenty of sustenance for young caterpillars.
It boasts of domed, slightly drooping umbels of fragrant pinkish- purple flowers in June through August. The flowers are a great nectar source for many pollinators, thus cementing its importance in the a successful butterfly garden with even greater emphasis. It’s functional, it’s beautiful and it’s a great host!
2 – 3 feet (60-90cm)
June – August
Medium to Dry
Sand, loam, clay
3 to 9
Deer, drought, erosion, dry soil
Native Ontario Habitat
Fields, open woods and corridors