Asclepias verticillata indiana dunes

Family:     Apocynaceae (Dogbane family)

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     30-60 cm (1-2 ft)

Blooming: June-Sept.


Whorled Milkweed

Asclepias verticillata L.

Stem: a green to yellowish-green color. White, curled hairs often line vertically up the stem.  

Flowers: are small, white to greenish-white flowers.  Sometimes the flower colors hint pink on the soft white.   The flowers grow off the peduncles (stem-like structure connecting the flower to the stem) in the axils of the leaf.  The flower umbels grow off of up to four peduncles arranged in whorls on the axils. These peduncles are hairy. 

Leaves: whorled, simple leaves (up to 6 a whorl). The leaf blades can grow as long as 8 cm (3.1 in) and 2 cm (.75 in) wide.

Fruits: lance-shaped, smooth with short, fine pubescent hairs on follicles filled with seeds attached to white hairs.

Sun: Full to part sun

Asclepias verticillata leaves indiana dunes

Comments:  A common milkweed found in prairies, roadsides, and disturbed areas.

Etymology: The genus Asclepias was named by Carl Linnaeus after the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius. The name, verticillata, comes from the Latin word for "whorled".  

Landscape: It can get weedy growing profusely off of the underground stems (rhizomes). The flowers smell brilliant. It attracts many pollinators including bees and butterflies. May not be the best plant for the pristine garden, but could benefit your meadow gardens. It is deer resistant.  

Whorled milkweed indiana dunes

all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Species Present and Native