Asclepias syriaca - Common Milkweed
The hallmark species of an effective butterfly garden because of its relationship with the monarch butterfly and it's nectar-rich flowers.
The milkweed family (Asclepias) is the only vegetation that can act as host plant species for the monarch butterfly. Here at the farm, the common milkweed is the most frequently selected member of milkweed family for hosting caterpillars. Monarch caterpillars have a particular interest in younger plants with softer, smaller leaves.
Aesthetically the milkweed boasts of domed, slightly drooping umbels of fragrant pinkish- purple flowers. 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!
Height: 2 – 3 feet (60-90cm)
Blooming Period: June – August
Light: Full Sun
Water: Medium to Dry
Soil: Sand, loam, clay
Zone: 3 to 9
Tolerate: Deer, drought, erosion, dry soil
Native Ontario Habitat: Fields, open woods and corridors