Asclepias purpurascens (Purple Milkweed)

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: 26. Provided by Kentucky Native Plant Societ. Scanned by Omnitek Inc.

Where Commonly Found: RARE and/or ENDANGERED in CT, MA, NH, NY, RI, not present in ME or VT.  Disturbed sites, wetlands, forest edges, meadows and fields.

How to Identify:

(For unfamiliar words: Wikipedia Glossary of Botanical Terms).
Go Botany Key for Asclepisa purpurascens.
Missouri Botanical Garden’s description of Asclepias purpurascens.  Click on more images.
Flower Color:  Rose Pink to Purple
Flower Type: Radially symmetrical, umbels
(very similar to Ascelpias syriaca, except much deeper rose color.  The individual flowers in the umbel are tiny, up to .75″ long with 5 reflexed petals and 5 purple heads.
Flower Time:  May to July
Leaf Arrangement:  Opposite on stout, upright stems. Stems and leaves exude milky sap when bruised.
Leaf Type:  Simple, ovate-lanceolate, up to 8″ long, dark green above and slightly pubescent below, very pointed.
Height2′ – 3′
Seed Collection: AS THIS PLANT IS RARE OR ENDANGERED IN PARTS OF OUR REGION PLEASE FOLLOW GUIDELINES BY THE CENTER FOR PLANT CONSERVATION.  Seed pods are similar to Asclepias syriaca, smooth, up to 6″ long and split to disperse the wind-blown silky-tailed seeds.

Attracts: Bees and Butterflies.
Use:  Naturalizing, Butterfly Garden.
Light:  Full sun.
Hardiness Zone:  3 – 8 USDA Zone Map.
Soils: Dry to Medium.
Notes:  Asclepias purpurascens is very similar to Asclepias syriaca, the very common milkweed, including the tendency to spread rapidly, the differences are the A. purpurascens has a deeper rose flower color and the leaves are more pointed
Native to: RARE AND/OR ENDANGERED IN PARTS OF CT, MA, NH, NY, RI.  Native and rare to much of the NE, Mid-West and South.  Biota of North America, North American Plant Atlas.

Requested by Bronx River Wildflower Corridor, Roseanne Andrade.

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