Asclepias speciosa (showy milkweed)
An important plant for monarch butterflies
As the name implies, showy milkweed is striking with large globes of pale pink flowers on top of stems with broad green leaves. Monarch butterflies need this species as hosts for their eggs to develop into larvae. Photo by Jane Abel.
Be aware this species is an aggressive spreader and is not suitable for many gardens. It spreads by rhizomes and seeds and can be hard to get rid of. Remove seed pods to avoid spreading seeds. If you have a moist or wet area with lots of space for it to spread, you’ll make some monarchs happy and you’ll get to enjoy the beauty of flowers and butterflies.
Height: up to 4′
Width: individual stems ~ 6″, but spreads by rhizomes
Water: moderate to high