Common Milkweed, Butterfly Flower, Silkweed, Virginia Silkweed
Synonyms of Asclepias syriaca (15) (Updated on 8-9-21 from Plants of the World Online): Asclepias apocinum Gaterau, Asclepias consanguinea Kunze, Asclepias cornuti Decne., Asclepias fragrans Raf., Asclepias globosa Stokes, Asclepias grandifolia Bertol., Asclepias illinoensis Michx. ex Steud., Asclepias intermedia Vail, Asclepias obtusifolia Kunze, Asclepias pubescens Moench, Asclepias pubigera Dumort., Asclepias serica Raf., Asclepias syriaca f. inermis J.R.Churchill, Asclepias syriaca f. leucantha Dore, Asclepias syriaca f. polyphylla B.Boivin
Asclepias syriaca L. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of Milkweed. The genus and species were named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the first volume of the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 206 species in the Asclepias genus (as of 8-9-21 when I last updated this page). It is a member of the plant family Apocynaceae with 367 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.
The above distribution map for Asclepias syriaca is from Plants of the World Online. Areas in green are where the species is native and purple where it has been introduced. The map on the USDA Plants Database for North America is similar. The species could have a broader range than what the maps show.
The map on iNaturalist shows where members have made observations. Anyone can join and it is a great website to confirm and share your observations. The maps on iNaturalist and continually updated as members post new observations.
THERE ARE SEVERAL LINKS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE FOR FURTHER READING AND TO HELP WITH A BETTER POSITIVE ID.
The Asclepias syriaca, Common Milkweed, has been growing by the lagoon here on the farm for several years. In 2019 I noticed it coming up in the main pasture and in the back of the farm. It doesn’t really have a chance to grow well in the pasture and hayfields because they get eaten or mowed off before they flower (even though they come back fast). The photos from July 12, 16, and 19 in 2019 were taken on a friend’s farm. This species grows fairly tall.
I apologize for not writing descriptions at the moment, but I have A LOT of wildflower pages to make and publish before I start getting too busy. I update this site and add new pages over the winter but I didn’t get finished. SO, I decided to just make the page with photos and links to other sites for better plant ID. I will be taking more photos over the summer and posting but I will also be working on these pages as I have time.
The rest of the photos were taken on my farm… There is a good-sized patch next to the lagoon and surrounding area. They are also scattered along the south side of the farm from one end to the other and along the street in front of the pasture.
The above photo is of a colony of Asclepias syriaca in the southeast pasture.
The above photo and the next four were taken of a small colony along the fence outside of the front pasture.
The above and below photos are of the same plant along the south hayfield.
I will continue taking more photos as time goes by.
I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. My farm is in Windsor, Missouri in Pettis County (Henry County is across the street and Benton and Johnson aren’t far away). I have grown over 500 different plants and identified over 100 species of wildflowers (most have pages listed on the right side of the page). I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing, and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a few horticulturalists I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.
I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.
FOR FURTHER READING:
PLANTS OF THE WORLD ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
INTERNATIONAL PLANT NAMES INDEX (GENUS/SPECIES)
WORLD FLORA ONLINE (GENUS/SPECIES)
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
USDA PLANT GUIDE
MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN
MSU-MIDWEST WEEDS AND WILDFLOWERS
MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION
KANSAS WILDFLOWERS AND GRASSES
NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
PFAF(PLANTS FOR A FUTURE)
LADY BIRD JOHNSON WILDFLOWER CENTER
FRIENDS OF THE WILDFLOWER GARDEN
U.S. FOREST SERVICE
NOTE: The figures may not match on these websites. It depends on when and how they make updates and when their sources make updates (and if they update their sources or even read what they say). Some websites have hundreds and even many thousands of species to keep up with. Accepted scientific names change periodically and it can be hard to keep with as well. In my opinion, Plants of the World Online by Kew is the most reliable and up-to-date plant database and they make updates on a regular basis. I make updates at least once a year and when I write new pages and add new photos but I do get behind. We are all a work in progress. 🙂