Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) in the Milkweeds Database

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Common names:
Give a thumbs up Purple Milkweed
Give a thumbs up Milkweed

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 24 - 48 inches
Plant Spread: 18 - 24 inches
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Other: Can spread somewhat rapidly by rhizomes. This plant is considered by many gardeners to be too vigorous and weedy for borders.
Flowers: Showy
Other: Flowers are a nectar source for many butterflies and leaves are a food source for monarch butterfly larvae (caterpillars).
Flower Color: Other: Rose-pink to purple
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Rhizome
Uses: Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous
Roots are poisonous
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Self fertile
Stratify seeds: 3 months at 40 degrees
Suitable for wintersowing
Can handle transplanting
Other info: Easily grown from seed, and will self-seed in the landscape if seed pods are not removed prior to splitting open.
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Pollinators: Moths and Butterflies
Various insects
Containers: Not suitable for containers


Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 15, 2012 4:51 PM

Occurring widely in the northeast in thickets, open woods, and fields, Purple Milkweed is similar to common Milkweed except that it has much deeper rose-pink flowers and more pointed leaves. Plants form clumps 2 to 3 feet tall and wide and have stout straight stems topped by beautiful mid-summer rosy-purple flower balls. Butterflies LOVE their nectar and Monarch butterfly caterpillars love their leaves. Easy to grow in dry, poor to average soil, in full sun. Plants may seed and form colonies. (Sunlight Gardens)

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Plant Events from our members
lovesbloomsOn February 19, 2017Seeds germinated
lovesbloomsOn February 4, 2017Seeds sown
daveOn March 16, 2017Seeds sown
daveOn January 29, 2017Maintenance performed
Placed in moist paper towel in a ziplock bag and placed in the fridge.
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread TitleLast ReplyReplies
Upcoming article on Milkweeds by daveAug 3, 2017 12:02 PM3
Milkweed ID Needed by jimard8Jun 25, 2017 8:53 AM8
WTD: seeds/plants of Asclepias purpurascens from lower Ohio Valley origin... by UrbanWildAug 3, 2017 9:03 AM1
Chicagoland Annual garden swap 2017 by oericksonAug 25, 2017 10:41 AM303
Growing Milkweeds by luvsgrtdanesOct 15, 2017 3:34 PM357
Milkweed Forum by luvsgrtdanesJan 16, 2017 2:36 PM14
Looking for Asclepias purpurascens seeds by RobinSeedsAug 10, 2016 10:21 AM3
Legal or illegal to pick michigan wildflower? by bhart90Jul 24, 2016 12:15 PM63
October 2015 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielongNov 16, 2015 5:57 PM344
Chat thread by wcgypsyOct 17, 2017 5:24 PM10,121

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