Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: White Milkweed, Redring Milkweed
Asclepias variegata

Family: Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Asclepias (ass-KLE-pee-us) (Info)
Species: variegata (var-ee-GAY-tuh) (Info)

27 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 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:
Sun to Partial Shade
Light Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
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

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 9 photos.
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8 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Doofcat On May 31, 2014, Doofcat from GERMANTON, NC wrote:

Found 4 plants growing naturally in light shaded mesic hardwood forest in northern piedmont of NC. Three of the plants produced only tiny!!! yellowish buds that never matured to bloom. The other plant is at least 6 inches taller and produced a beautiful bloom head. Does anyone know if this plant has male/female plants?

Positive atcps On May 24, 2014, atcps from WOODLAWN, TN wrote:

A beautiful milkweed that is quite distinctive. Mine grows on a large hill under a dogwood and oak tree. It grows in acid, dry, somewhat rocky soil with no help from me. I hope it spreads more than the few plants that are blooming now in Tennessee.

Positive lynndianne On Jun 24, 2013, lynndianne from Franklin, NC wrote:

I found this lone milkweed growing in our "woods". It took me awhile to find out what it was. I'm hoping to gather some seeds to get more going. Beautiful plant. I hope it comes back.


Positive luckylady3 On May 3, 2012, luckylady3 from Kosciusko, MS wrote:

Was pleasantly surprised to find a lone specimen of this lovely plant growing in the woods behind my house in Attala County, Mississippi.

Positive forgottenfl On Apr 29, 2012, forgottenfl from Crawfordville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

As the other reports say growing in shade naturally on my property in the N. FL Panhandle. Also, at my neighbors home as well. Lovely addition to the shade garden.

Positive katiepga On Oct 12, 2009, katiepga from Marietta, GA wrote:

This Milkweed volunteered in my landscape five years ago. It has flourished in Marietta, Georgia in zone 7a. I have not attempted to propagate by seed, nor have I attempted to transplant it. It is happy in high shade all day.

Positive bigred On Jun 4, 2008, bigred from Ashdown, AR (Zone 8a) wrote:

Found this plant years ago blooming in a very shady area under oaks and pines while doing some volunteer gardening for local Sr.Citzen Center. Asked permisson to collect some seeds and have been growing it ever since. Beautiful plant.

Positive podster On May 19, 2007, podster from Deep East Texas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

No full sun for these plants. I found them growing deep in the woods in high timber this spring. The plants are growing in full shade deep in the woods. They only have one stalk which is woody like a small tree and only a single or double bloom at the top. They are definitely a bright spot to come across in the deep woods.

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

White Milkweed, Redring Milkweed Asclepias variegata is native to Texas and other States.

Neutral Magpye On Sep 28, 2006, Magpye from NW Qtr, AR (Zone 6a) wrote:

Habit: Erect herbaceous perennial with milky sap, 3-9 dm.; flowering late May-July; fruiting August, September.

Similar Species: A. variegata, with its compact, waxy, pure white flowers with purple centers, is a distinctive species. In fruit, A. variegata is often confused with both A. purpurascens and A. exaltata, the habitats and ranges of which are similar.

Total Range: CT to n. FL, nw. to OH, w. and s. to MO and e. TX.

(Various) State Status:
* OHIO * 1980-1983: Threatened, 1984-1985: Endangered, 1986-1987: Threatened, 1988 to present: Potentially Threatened.

Additional Comments:
* OHIO * This is an Appalachian species that should be sought in suitable habitats throughout unglaciated southeastern Ohio.

Habitat: Sandy or rocky soil in moist or dry upland woods, thickets and wooded roadsides.

Hazards: Possibly lumbering of woodlands and over-collecting by plant collectors. This is one of Ohios most attractive milkweeds and is sometimes dug by wildflower enthusiasts.

Recovery Potential: Probably good due to its tolerance of disturbance and its stout perennial caudex which annually produces herbaceous shoots.


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

Pelham, Alabama
Ashdown, Arkansas
Morrilton, Arkansas
North Little Rock, Arkansas
Crawfordville, Florida
Cleveland, Georgia
Conyers, Georgia
Cornelia, Georgia
Dacula, Georgia
Marietta, Georgia
Collins, Mississippi
Kosciusko, Mississippi
Franklin, North Carolina
Germanton, North Carolina
Franklin, Tennessee
Indian Mound, Tennessee
Huntington, Texas
Lufkin, Texas
Nacogdoches, Texas
San Augustine, Texas
Leesburg, Virginia

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