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Asclepias variegata is often confused with:
Asclepias tuberosa Asclepias tuberosa
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Asclepias tuberosa Asclepias tuberosa
Viola striata Viola striata
Baptisia tinctoria Baptisia tinctoria

Asclepias variegata

Phonetic Spelling
as-KLEE-pee-as vair-ee-ah-GAY-ta
Description

White milkweed is a native perennial wildflower in the Apocynaceae family.  The species name describes the bicolored flowers, which are quite showy in masses. The white milkweed thrives in open upland forests and woodland edge habitats,  sandy open ground, ravine bottoms, low woods, slopes, ridges, and roadsides.

Plant in full sun to light shade in dry clay, loam, or rocky soil.  

This low maintenance plant reaches a mature size of 1 to 3 feet tall and wide.  The most rapid growth and development of this plant occurs during the spring after the danger of hard frost has passed. The leaves are opposite with a smooth margin and pale underside. Small, white flowers dotted with purple in the center form a large, round, showy cluster that blooms in May-July. One or two large wart-like pods with fluffy wind-dispersed seeds mature in the late summer. It does best in dry or rocky woods,   This plant is highly resistant to damage from deer.

Consider planting in masses to really showcase the flowers that attract butterflies including monarchs and other pollinators like bees.  This native is at home in a woodland garden, meadow, or naturalized area.

Fire Risk: This plant has a medium flammability rating. 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious problems.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#white flowers#wildlife plant#native perennials#nectar plant#low maintenance#wasps#mass planting#specialized bees#fire medium flammability#bumblebees#NC native#deer resistant#Monarch butterfly#pollinator plant#native wildflower#naturalized area#flowers late spring#flowers mid-summer#larval host plant#flowers early summer#nectar plant late spring#butterfly friendly#nectar plant early summer#problem for cats#problem for dogs#bee friendly#problem for horses#roadside#Audubon#meadows#woodland garden#fruits late summer
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#white flowers#wildlife plant#native perennials#nectar plant#low maintenance#wasps#mass planting#specialized bees#fire medium flammability#bumblebees#NC native#deer resistant#Monarch butterfly#pollinator plant#native wildflower#naturalized area#flowers late spring#flowers mid-summer#larval host plant#flowers early summer#nectar plant late spring#butterfly friendly#nectar plant early summer#problem for cats#problem for dogs#bee friendly#problem for horses#roadside#Audubon#meadows#woodland garden#fruits late summer
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Asclepias
    Species:
    variegata
    Family:
    Apocynaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    SE. Canada to Central & E. U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    Eastern North America
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    The copious amount of nectar in the showy flowers attracts butterflies including Monarch (Danaus plexippus) butterflies, skippers, and possibly moths. Other likely floral visitors include various long-tongued bees and wasps.  Redring milkweed is not an important food plant for Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) caterpillars although which appear in the spring and summer and may have one to three broods in the north and four to six broods in the south. This butterfly breeds all year long in Florida, south Texas, and southeastern California. Adult Monarch butterflies feed on nectar from all species of milkweeds. The bitter white sap of the foliage contains toxic cardiac glycosides so it is avoided by mammalian herbivores. Very attractive to honey bees, native bees, and bumble bees.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 8 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • 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:
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    Dehiscent seed pods stand erect and are a brown to reddish color. Late summer.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    May-September, long lasting white with some purple at the base of corolla which flex backward. Umbels are erect and spherical with 30 flowers. Flower blooms from May to June.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Simple, opposite and attachment is petiolate. Leaves are oval, 2–6 in (5-15 cm) long and ½ -3 in (1-7 ½ cm) wide, generally thick with the upper side hairless and dark and the underside a lighter color with hair.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Single stems that are thin, narrow and purple-green. Crushing reveals the milky sap typical of most milkweeds.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses