Asclepias Species, Aquatic Milkweed, White Milkweed

Asclepias perennis

Family: Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Asclepias (ass-KLE-pee-us) (Info)
Species: perennis (per-EN-is) (Info)
Synonym:Asclepias lancifolia
Synonym:Asclepias parviflora
Synonym:Asclepias parvula
Synonym:Asclepias pulchella



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

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

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:



18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

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:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


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

Bartow, Florida

Green Cove Springs, Florida

Lake Worth, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Central Point, Oregon

Okatie, South Carolina

Willis, Texas

Leesburg, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 11, 2019, sueroderus from Bluffton, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have been growing this plant for 5 years. It gets only about 12" tall and has beautiful white flowers. I was desperately looking for a native alternative to Asclepias curassavica in my zone 8b-9a garden. Although I live in the coastal south my soil is fill and heavy clay which I have amended but it still holds water, which is perfect for this plant. The plants grow well for me in part shade to high shade. They are getting little if any mid day sun. The monarch butterfly does lay their eggs on this plant. I have been able to grow it from seed.


On Mar 31, 2019, jaydee12 from Lake Worth, FL wrote:

So far good, only in ground a month. Ran out of native milkweed for the monarchs and cats; went to my garden store and she stated these were also good for monarchs. I transferred the cats from all the eaten native milkweed, they seem to love it. More leaves and a lot taller. I am rooting some stems that had gotten bent with our recent high winds. I am hoping this works. I live in Lake Worth FL.


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

Aquatic Milkweed, White Milkweed Asclepias perennis is native to Texas and other States.


On Sep 12, 2006, WillisTxGarden from Willis, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Attracts butterflies is main positive...needs the soil to remain moist since it has adapted to growth in such an environment. I collected my seeds from a plant growing in some wetlands near the Sabine River in Texas.


On Jan 29, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Native to swamps and wetlands. Wide-spread through North America.