Asclepias speciosa

Showy milkweed

Plant Type: Perennial
Sun: Sun
Drainage: Adaptable
Water: Naturalize, Occasional
Height X Width: 5' X 3'
Santa Clara County Local: No
What do these mean?



The showy milkweed is widespread in North America, native to about half the forty eight contiguous states and western Canada. It grows in a wide range of plant communities, including wetlands. In California it grows in much of the northern half of the state. Showy milkweed emerges from (complete) dormancy with upright stocks of opposite, lance shaped leaves. These are mint green in color. The number of stocks increases from year to year in an expanding clump. The stocks are topped with an ornate fragrant flower of creamy white with occasional magenta details. A variety of pollinators savor this late spring/early summer nectar source. Showy milkweed appreciates a sunny site with fairly well-draining soil. This is one of several native milkweed species that provide exclusive forage for the caterpillars of the monarch butterfly.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: Yes
Evergreen or Deciduous: Deciduous