Asclepias speciosa
"Showy Milkweed"

Asclepias speciosa "Showy Milkweed" Asclepias speciosa "Showy Milkweed"

Undeniably stunning in bloom, everyone who can should grow at least one of our native perennial "Showy Milkweeds" as it is THE native host for our western Monarch butterfly, which lays its eggs on the stems and leaves. Thriving in poor, dry , well-drained soil, it's tough and vigorous with gorgeous large silvery-green, soft-to-the-touch leaves. Atop the 3' to 4' stems, the remarkably FRAGRANT large round clusters are 4" to 5" across and made up of lovely velvety pink and white star-like flowers. Bloom season occurs late Spring to late Summer. Sometime after bloom it will go deciduous but not to worry, it will certainly return next Spring with more stems. Grow it next to your driveway, parking strip, somewhere your hose won't reach, on a hillside and especially in a xeric or native garden. Does well in a large pot, too, 5 gal. & up. Now this is important: Asclepias speciosa looks terrible in a 4" pot and ships dormant until June. But don't dismay, just plant it, water it a bit the first year and don't worry if it disappears, it's just going temporarily dormant. Once it's established, you'll be delighted with the fruits of your patience. And so will our Monarchs, who can smell a milkweed a mile off. Look for their incredible chrysalises, glossy turquoise and emerald ringed with unbelievable glimmering gold beads.

Annie

 

NOTE: Due to CA agricultural regulations, we are required to treat all Asclepias plants with BT, a non-toxic and naturally occurring biological larvicide, to help combat the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM). If you are planning to introduce Monarch caterpillars to this plant, we recommend letting it establish for one season before doing so.

Sun
Low-Avg. Water

Perennial
USDA zones 4-10