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Asclepias purpurascens

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
as-KLEE-pee-as pur-pur-ESS-kenz
Description

Purple Milkweed is a perennial wildflower native to eastern and central USA. It is a rare species in NC but can be found in swampy areas to dry woodlands and meadows of the Piedmont and mountains. The plant is similar to common milkweed but the flowers are a deeper purple to rose-pink. They occur in clusters from May to July and attract bees and butterflies. The leaves are host to the monarch butterfly larvae. This plant can spread aggressively by seeds and rhizomes and is not appropriate for small gardens.

It is easy to grow in average moist to dry well-drained soils in full sun. It is drought and deer tolerant. Use in naturalized areas as meadows, native plantings, wild gardens, along streams or ponds and to attract butterflies. 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#drought tolerant#pink flowers#weedy#wet sites#NC native#swamps#woodland#native wildflower#larval host plant#food source summer#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#drought tolerant#pink flowers#weedy#wet sites#NC native#swamps#woodland#native wildflower#larval host plant#food source summer#food source fall#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Asclepias
    Species:
    purpurascens
    Family:
    Apocynaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Good Dried
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Follicle
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Up to 6" long and 1" across smooth seed pods with short hairs split open when mature to release numerous seeds with tufts of white hairs for dispersal by the wind July to October.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    3/4 inch deep rose-pink to purple flowers with 5 petals appear in clusters 2-3 inches across May-July.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are 4-8 inches long and 2-3 inches across, ovate to oblong-lanceolate and opposite. Dark green above and slightly pubescent below. Margins may be wavy and curl upward.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Erect green stems may have fine hairs and ooze a milky sap when broken.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Erosion
    Poor Soil
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy