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Asclepias verticillata

Whorled milkweed / Horsetail milkweed

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Whorled milkweed grows almost anywhere and attracts pollinators in droves! In fact, it is one of the most widely distributed milkweed species in the United States. Bright white to light green flowers bloom in mid- to late summer, providing nectar for bees, hummingbirds and a wide variety of butterflies. It is a host plant for monarch butterflies whose caterpillars can only eat plants in the milkweed family. Great for butterfly gardens, meadows and naturalized areas, as it will spread. Looks terrific planted with native grasses, coneflower and black-eyed Susan’s.

Benefits

  • A nectar source for many butterflies, especially monarchs
  • Monarchs only lay their eggs on milkweed plants
  • Seed pods are used in dried flower arrangements
  • Easy to grow, drought tolerant once established
  • Deer and rabbit resistant

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Easy to grow in full sun and with dry, well-drained soil. It will grow in richer, moist soils and spreads quickly.


 


Height
1-3 ft

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Spread
1-2 ft

USDA Hardiness Zone Zone 4-9

Native Range

Often found in Sandy, clayey or rocky soils.

Native Trivia

Female Monarchs lay their eggs on this milkweed so the caterpillars can eat the leaves for growth before becoming a chrysalis. 

Whorled milkweed is poisonous to livestock. 

Characteristics & Attributes

Sun
Beneficial insects
Butterflies
Deer Resistant
Low Water Use
Plan Sub Group
Low Perennials
Medium Perennials
Exposure
Filtered Shade
Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
Soil
Well-drained
Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Dry
Attracts Wildlife
Hummingbirds
Bloom Time
Late Spring / Early Summer
Late Summer
Summer
Critter Resistance
Rabbit Resistant
Habitat Collection
Butterfly
Native Habitat
Forest
Foliage Color
Dark Green
Uses
Cut or dried flower
Drought tolerant
Fragrant
Naturalizes
Native to
Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming