Photo of Asclepias verticillata

Asclepias verticillata

Whorled Milkweed

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Fragrant, white flowers bloom in small, flat-topped clusters atop unbranched stems and within the leaf axils, between June and September.

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Description:

The nectar of the fragrant white flowers provides a food source for bees, many species of butterflies, and other beneficial insects. Flowers are followed by smooth seed pods that dry out and break open, releasing numerous wind-dispersed seeds. Feathery, needle-like leaves grow in whorled patterns around the stem, creating an appealing and unusual texture. Monarch butterflies depend on milkweed species in order for their species to survive. They lay their eggs on the foliage, which is then consumed by the hungry, growing caterpillars. Whorled Milkweed is easily grown in well-drained sandy or clay soils, in full sun or part shade. However, it’s preference is dry, sandy soils and full sun. It is quite drought tolerant once it is estblished. Include Whorled Milkweed in pollinator gardens, meadows, native gardens and naturalized areas. Broadcast seeds in the fall. Patience is required; although seeds may readily germinate, flowers may not be produced for the first 2 years. 

Wildlife Value: Valuable food source for the adult and larval stages of Monarch Butterflies, as well as many other butterflies, moths, bees and beneficial insects.

Plant Details:

Other Common Names: Horsetail Milkweed

Plant Type: Flower, Perennial

New Jersey Native: Yes

Bloom Times: Summer, Late Summer to Fall

Bloom Colors: White

Deer Resistance: High

Attracts Pollinators and Wildlife: Bees and Other Pollinators, Butterflies, Hummingbirds

Salt Tolerance: Unknown

Hardiness Zone: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b

Physiographic Region: All Regions in NJ

Soil Characteristics

Soil Type: Loam, Organic, Sandy, Clay

Soil Moisture: Well-drained

Soil pH: Slightly Acidic, Neutral, Slightly Alkaline

Light Needs of Plant

Optimal Light: Full Sun

Light Range: Full Sun, Partial Shade

Water Needs of Plant

Soil Moisture: Well-drained

Drought Tolerance: High

Size and Growth Rate

Height: 1 - 2.5 ft

Spread: 1 - 2 ft

Growth Rate: Slow-medium