USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 29.
Where Commonly Found: Forest and forest edges, found in all New England states and New York. (extremely rare in RI and uncommon in VT)
How to Identify:
(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key to Asclepias exaltata
Flower Type: Cream white to light pink, loose drooping umbels, 2″- 4″ across, tinged with lavender or green with 5 stamen, petals fused into a1/4″ wide and 1/2″ long downward facing fused cups.
Flower Time: July – August
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite with two leaves per node along stem.
Leaf Type: Simple, entire leaves, 3″-8″ long and 1″-3″ across, lanceolate-elliptic to ovate, pointed at tips and bottom, medium to dark green and glabrous on upper surface, pale to medium on lower surface, .5″-2″ long, light green petioles.
Seed Collection: Long and narrow pods, up to 6″ long, open when seeds are ripe, catch before dispersed by the wind.
Attracts: Bees, Butterflies
Light: Partial Shade to Full Shade
Hardiness Zone: 3 to 7 USDA Zone Map
Notes: A great monarch attracting tall milkweed, with pendulous umbel flowers, suitable for dappled to open woodlands and edges.
Native to most of Northeast (rare in south half of VT), South and Midwest US: Biota of North America Program (BONAP) – North American Plant Atlas (NAPA).