Asclepias speciosa

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Scientific Name Asclepias speciosa USDA PLANTS Symbol
Common Name Showy Milkweed ITIS Taxonomic Serial No.
Family Apocynaceae (Dogbane) SEINet
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Description Life zones and habitat: Plains and foothills. Moist soils of prairies, roadsides, waste areas, lake margins.
Plant: Erect perennial, 16 to 48 inches tall; slightly to densely hairy stems with milky sap.
Leaves: Stem leaves opposite, petiolate, oblong-lanceolate to ovate-oblong, 4 to 8 inches long and up to 4 inches across; with transverse veins.
Inflorescence: Several umbels on peduncles 1 to 3 inches long; 5 greenish sepals often hidden beneath pink to purplish-red petals that are about 1/2-inch long; 5 pale pink to white hoods spreading in a star pattern, each 1/3 to 1/2-inch long; white, sickle-shaped horns, shorter than hoods, arching over anther head. See Orbis Environmental Consulting's website for a discussion of milkweed flower morphology.
References: Descr. adapted from Burke Museum-Washington University, Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses, and "Flora of Colorado" by Jennifer Ackerfield.
Colorado Status

© Tom Lebsack 2018