Asclepias is a genus of 140 species of milkweed.  Also called milkweed are some plants in related genera:

🚧 In the future, we will add here identification paths for specific species of milkweed, probably starting with:
clusters of very-small flowers with 5 petals=pink or light purple around white center, 40% of sphere, 👃︎ subtle smell of vanilla
◼︎ ♒︎ rose or swamp milkweed  Asclepias incarnata,

clusters of very-small flowers with 5 petals=dusty rose, 80% of sphere, 👃︎ smells flowery
common milkweed  Asclepias syriaca,

clusters of very-small flowers with 5 petals=brilliant orange around a yellow center, 10% of a sphere, 👃︎ little smell
butterfly milkweed  Asclepias tuberosa,

clusters of very-small flowers with 5 petals=white around a white center, 20% of a sphere, leaves=very narrow
whorled milkweed  Asclepias verticillata,

◼︎ black swallow-wort  Cynanchum louiseae, ◼︎ pale swallow-wort  Cynanchum rossicum and ◼︎ white swallow-wort  Vincetoxicum hirundinaria.

Please let us know which other species you would like to see here, using the button at the bottom of this page.

Learn more about milkweed genus Asclepias

Milkweed are part of dogbane  family Apocynaceae.

Most species are native to 🇨🇦 🇺🇸 🇲🇽 North America;  other species are native to South America and Africa.   🗺 Map by county (🇺🇸 USA-48) (color key).

The milkweed blossom is the ⚘❀ state wildflower of Illinois.

Uses by native peoples
(Ethnobotany database)

Asclepias hosts caterpillars of 13 species
of butterflies and moths, in some areas,
including being the only host plant for ⚫︎ eggs and 🐛︎ larvae of the monarch butterfly  Danaus plexippus.
Poster of monarch butterfly Danaus plexippus lifecycle, larval
host plants, adult nectar plants, and growing info for these plants.  Adobe Acrobat Reader file
Growing milkweeds for
monarch butterflies
  Adobe Acrobat Reader file
Milkweed — It's Not
Just for Monarchs


  • see where monarch butterflies are now on their migration, or
  • report your own sightings (🇨🇦 🇺🇸 🇲🇽 in Canada, USA, and México),
please see monarch butterfly  Danaus plexippus  > box on "citizen science."

🔍︎ 🔍︎ images Discover Life Encyclopedia of Life Michigan Flora Minnesota Wildflowers Flora of North America NRCS PLANTS db Wikipedia