- Common Name(s):
- Redwing milkweed, White milkweed, White-flowered milkweed
- Herbs, Native Plants, Perennials, Wildflowers
Asclepias variegata or Redwing milkweed is a native perennial in the Acanthaceae family.
Consider planting in masses to really showcase the flowers. Most growth and development of this plant occurs during the spring after the danger of hard frost has passed.
Its seed pods stand erect and are a brown to reddish color.
The species name describes the bicolored flowers, which are quite showy in masses.
Regions: Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal plains
Seasons of Interest:
Bloom: May-July (Spring/Summer) Nut/Fruit/Seeds: Late summer
Wildlife Value: The copious amount of nectar in the showy flowers attracts 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 they can be occasionally found on the plants. The bitter white sap of the foliage contains toxic cardiac glycosides so it is avoided by mammalian herbivores. This plant is very resistant to damage from deer. Very attractive to honey bees, native bees, and bumble bees.
- Spring, summer
- Sun, part shade
- 1.5-3 ft.
- Flower Color:
- White with purple
- USDA Hardiness Zone 3-9
- The leaf arrangement of the White Milkweed is 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. Crushing the purple-green stem reveals the milky sap typical of most milkweeds.
- The flowers of the White Milkweed are white with purple tinge at the base of the corolla and hoods. Horns protrude out of the hoods. Its corolla flexes backward. Flowers buds at first are green, but turn white before blossoming. Umbels are erect and spherical with 30 +/- flowers.
- The White Milkweed thrives in open woodland and woodland edge habitats and requires some shade. It does best in dry or rocky woods, sandy open ground, ravine bottoms, low woods, slopes, ridges, roadsides.
- Full sun to partial shade
- Sandy, wet
- Eastern North America
- Life Cycle:
NCCES plant id: 3289