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Whorled Milkweed Asclepias verticillata


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Whorled Milkweed
© Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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Family: Asclepiadaceae, Milkweed view all from this family

Description Whorled Milkweed is a single-stemmed, unbranched perennial, 1-3 ft. tall. The narrow, linear leaves are whorled along the stem. Small, greenish-white flowers occur in flat-topped clusters on the upper part of the stem.

Warning All plants in the genus Asclepias are probably somewhat toxic, some fatally so, to both humans and animals, and Whorled Milkweed is one of the more poisonous species. The sap of some milkweeds causes skin irritation in humans. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.

Flower July.

Flower July

Habitat Dry prairies; roadsides; fields; open woods.

Range Massachusetts to Montana, south to Florida and e. Texas; also s. Canada.

Discussion Because of its toxicity to livestock, this plant is considered a weed in range areas.

Comments Whorled milkweed is one of the more poisonous or the milkweeds to livestock. It is therefore considered a weed in range areas.

Exposure Preference Sun to partial sun.

Native Distribution Massachusetts to Montana, s. to Florida & e. Texas; also s. Canada

Site Preference Dry prairies; roadsides; fields; open woods

Soil Preference Sandy, clayey or rocky soils.