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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Flagstaff, Arizona

Brentwood, California

Calistoga, California

Janesville, California

Richmond, California

San Leandro, California

San Marcos, 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

Orchards, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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.


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.