Classification Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheophyta
Superdivision Spermatophyta
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Subclass Asteridae
Order Gentianales
Family Apocynaceae
Genus Asclepias
Species Asclepias syriaca
Common milkweed

Date: June 14,, 2010. Hickory Hill: (41°40'12" N 91°30'29" W)

BONAP, FNA, ITIS, USDA, VPI

Scientific Name: Asclepias syriaca (Asclepias is a reference to Greek mythology. Asclepius was the god of healing. syriaca is a confused reference to a plant from Syria.

Common Name: Common milkweed - when the plant is wounded it exudes a milky latex.

Origin: Native

Notes: Be sure to read the informative essay about this plant by Craig Holdrege.

Additional references: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 .

Field Marks for Identification:

Flowers: June/July, creamy - light purple, small 1-2 cm in diameter with 5 cornate hoods and a gynostegium, peduncles and pedicels tomentulose; inflorescence - axial with spherical umbels; fruit - follicles covered with rows of subulate-filiform processes 3-10 mm long.

Leaves: opposite, short petioled, simple broad ovate-lanceolate, often with wavy margins and a reddish main vein.

Glossary: Botanical Terms

Common milkweed Common milkweed Common milkweed Common milkweed Common milkweed Common milkweed Common milkweed Common milkweed Common milkweed Common milkweed Common milkweed Common milkweed Common milkweed Common milkweed Common milkweed Common milkweed