Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Showy Milkweed, Greek Milkweed
Asclepias speciosa

Family: Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Asclepias (ass-KLE-pee-us) (Info)
Species: speciosa (spee-see-OH-suh) (Info)

Synonym:Asclepias douglasii
Synonym:Asclepias giffordii

7 vendors have this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By Xenomorf
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There are a total of 23 photos.
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3 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive aardvark7 On Dec 28, 2008, aardvark7 from Fort Worth, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

Free seeds for Asclepias speciosa may be obtained through on their website. Milkweed is the ONLY larval food source for the Monarch butterfly.

Positive Danny112596 On Jul 29, 2008, Danny112596 from Los Fresnos, TX (Zone 10a) wrote:

This plant may grow in Zone 10 with good care. To grow them in Zone 10 from seeds use Cold Moist Stratification for a 1-2 months then plant.

Positive wetdogfarm On Oct 22, 2005, wetdogfarm from Eveleth, MN (Zone 3a) wrote:

I have been growing this species for several years in N MN. It has done fine in average garden soil and tolerates some drought. It does not seem to need consistent moisture in my opinion. It spreads by rhizomes, but not as rampantly as Asclepias syriaca. Beautiful flowers.

Neutral smiln32 On Dec 4, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant attracts bees and butterflies. The flowers are pinkish-whitish and reach a height of 28". They look like a cluster of little stars.

It is native to the U.S. and are found in fields, along roadsides and in prairie meadows. The tan, three inch long seed pod contains fuzz around the seeds. It was used in the past as pillow stuffing.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Flagstaff, Arizona
Brentwood, California
Calistoga, California
Janesville, California
Richmond, California
San Leandro, California
Susanville, California
Westminster, California
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Golden, Colorado
Laporte, Colorado
Rock Rapids, Iowa
Barbourville, Kentucky
Eveleth, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Helena, Montana
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Cottage Grove, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Austin, Texas
Magna, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah

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