Great for attracting monarch butterflies into the garden. The common milkweed, A. syriaca, is the plant that most people associate with the word “milkweed.” This is a tall and conspicuous species that sometimes forms large clones. The umbels bear large balls of pink to purplish flowers that have a sweet, attractive odor. This species is known to form hybrids with both A. exaltata (in the east) and A. speciosa (in the west). The seed pods open in the fall and early winter dispensing wind borne seeds. Among the milkweeds, this species is the best at colonizing in disturbed sites. Within its range it can be found in a broad array of habitats from croplands, to pastures, roadsides, ditches and old fields.
Part of the Butterfly Bed & Breakfast Project.