Asclepias viridiflora

Family:     Apocynaceae (Dogbane family)

Duration:  Perennial

Height:     30-76 cm (1-2.5 ft)

Blooming: June-Aug.

 

Green Comet Milkweed

Asclepias viridiflora Raf.

Stem: a light green to reddish-purple color with a covered in white hairs.  

Flowers: are small, green, 5-parted flower that spreads from a common point in clusters and blooms in early summer. The drooping clusters can have 20-90 individual flowers on them.  Does not have horns. 

Leaves: large leaves up to 15 cm. or a half a foot in length depending on the soil. The leaves are usually wavy and folding up from the midrib longitudinally. The unbranched plant's leaves are opposite or alternate.

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

Sun: Full sun

Ideal conditions: Dry soil in full sun.

Asclepias viridiflora
Green Comet Milkweed

Comments:  Green comet milkweed is also commonly called short green milkweed. This milkweed can be distinguished from the other milkweeds in Northwest Indiana by its lack of horns on the flower.  Tall green milkweed (Asclepias hirtella) does not have horns either, but tall green milkweed has alternate leaves whereas green comet milkweed usually has opposite leaves.  Green comet milkweed is usually relaxed or reclining with the flower heads leaning instead of erect.

Etymology: The genus Asclepias was named by Carl Linnaeus after the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius. The name, viridiflora, comes from the Latin word, viride, which means "green" and flora which means flower thus meaning "green flower".  

all photos by Nathanael Pilla

Landscape: Green comet milkweed draws all sorts of pollinators especially monarchs and bumblebees. It has soft, green blossoms that elegantly droop. It needs dry soil but can be in black soil or sand.  

Species Present and Native