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Bolivar Naturally

Green Milkweed

Asclepias viridis

Alternate Name: Green antelopehorn

Family: (Asclepiadaceae) Milkweed

Habitat: Moist fields

Height: 2-3 ft.

Bloom Period: Off and on spring through early fall.

Description: Milkweeds are perennials. They prefer sunny locations. Green milkweed likes moist conditions, but once established it does not need much water. It tolerates poor soils well. Plants either grow upright or sprawl.

The Wildlife Connection: Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweeds. By eating the toxic leaves, they gain protection from predators. The migration of monarch butterflies on the Bolivar Peninsula can be spectacular in the fall. Provide milkweeds for the adults to lay their eggs upon, and you will be helping to ensure that the spectacle continues! Spiders are also attracted to milkweeds, and they contribute up to 50% of the diet for nestlings of House Wrens, Wood Thrushes and other forest birds that forage on the ground.

Propagation Tips: Once started, the plant is self-propagating. Collect seed pods when the pods have turned yellow and just before they split. Scatter seeds in a sunny location. Milkweed seeds can be collected along right-of-ways, railroad beds, vacant lots, or on property scheduled to be bulldozed to grow your own natives. You can also purchase Green Milkweed seeds from Native American Seed. Green milkweed seeds are part of their Conservancy Seeds Collection, which are hand-collected wildflowers.

Green Milkweed
Green Milkweed

© Harlen E. and Altus Aschen

Monarch Caterpillar
Monarch caterpillar feeding on milkweed