Asclepias speciosa (Showy Milkweed) - photos and description

Asclepias speciosa

Asclepias speciosa

Asclepias speciosa

Asclepias speciosa

Asclepias speciosa

Asclepias speciosa
Monarch butterfly caterpillar on Showy Milkweed leaf

General: Stout-stemmed plants with large leaves. Rhizomatous, they are usually found in colonies of many plants. Stems and leaves when broken exude a milky white sap.

Flowers: Flowers pink and white, fragrant, in globose umbels. Umbel measured at 7 cm across, and a single flower measured at 2.5 cm in diameter.

Leaves: Leaves large, opposite, broadly lanceolate to ovate with short petioles, we measured a leaf at 14 cm long and 7.5 cm wide. Stems and bottom of leaves pubescent, top of leaves with short hairs.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 100 cm. We measured plants to 91 cm tall.

Habitat: Habitat is moist grassland and roadsides. Very common along the #1 highway west of Swift Current.

Abundance: Common.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: Took the above photos July 28th, roadside in the Qu'Appelle Valley 140 km north east of our home in Regina, SK. Normally these plants flower earlier in July, I photographed plants that had been mowed in the spring and were, therefore, late to bloom.