Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Whorled Milkweed, Whorled-leaf Milkweed, Horsetail Milkweed
Asclepias verticillata

Family: Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Asclepias (ass-KLE-pee-us) (Info)
Species: verticillata (ver-ti-si-LAH-tuh) (Info)

7 vendors have this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

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:
Pale Green
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

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

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

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to view:

By Mrs_Ed
Thumbnail #1 of Asclepias verticillata by Mrs_Ed

By Mrs_Ed
Thumbnail #2 of Asclepias verticillata by Mrs_Ed

By frostweed
Thumbnail #3 of Asclepias verticillata by frostweed

By frostweed
Thumbnail #4 of Asclepias verticillata by frostweed

By frostweed
Thumbnail #5 of Asclepias verticillata by frostweed

By Mrs_Ed
Thumbnail #6 of Asclepias verticillata by Mrs_Ed

By Danny112596
Thumbnail #7 of Asclepias verticillata by Danny112596


4 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative KnightsScore On Dec 15, 2012, KnightsScore from Greater Upper Marlboro, MD wrote:

This plant (and most milkweeds) are poisonous to horses and should not be planted where there is a possibility they could self seed and become a problem. All natives are not necessarily desireable. Whorled milkweed was determined to be the cause of death of several horses in Dec 2012 -
News story
More general info

Positive juba_stan On May 9, 2010, juba_stan from Olathe, KS wrote:

I got this plant in Lawrence at a monarch butterfly conservation event. I planted it it near a short path of natural stones, and it looks so nice. It has a few small stalks gently weeping out from the center and they have a nicer green color. The pictures of the flowers are pretty, it will be nice to have a later blooming plant and I hope it may attract monarchs so planting it wasn't just a random placeing of a flower.

Neutral Mrs_Ed On Aug 10, 2009, Mrs_Ed from Whiteside County, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a native plant in Illinois. I purchased one this year from a center that sells natives. Later I found it growing in a conservation area along a hillside. I love how the slender pine needle-like leaves contrast with the grasslands around it in the wild.

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

Whorled Milkweed also grows in Zone 10! ( you just need to use Cold Moist Stratification on the seeds so the germinate in zone 10).

Positive Malus2006 On Feb 22, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

The most eastern of the narrowleaf milkweed species, of which most species are located in Western North America. Strongly linked to sandy soils or dry locations. I have seen at least one large patch along a highway in Maple Grove, Minnesota.

Positive frostweed On Nov 30, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Whorled Milkweed, Whorled-leaf Milkweed, Asclepias verticilata is Native to Texas and other States.


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

Morrilton, Arkansas
Gainesville, Florida
Itasca, Illinois
La Grange Park, Illinois
Rock Falls, Illinois
Pacific Junction, Iowa
Olathe, Kansas
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Minneapolis, Minnesota (2 reports)
Helena, Montana
Doniphan, Nebraska
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas
Leesburg, Virginia

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