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ASCLEPIAS variegata

Image of Asclepias variegata

Family

Asclepiadaceae

Botanical Name

ASCLEPIAS variegata

Plant Common Name

Redring Milkweed

General Description

The snowy flowers of this hardy perennial brighten woodlands of eastern and central North America in late spring and early summer.

A favorite food of Monarch butterfly caterpillars, the oval leaves of this clump-forming perennial are paired along upright, knee- to waist-high stems. In late spring, dome-shaped, many-flowered clusters of small white waxy blooms appear near the stem tips. The flowers have five petals, a red-purple center, and a five-lobed “crown" comprising five spreading "hoods." The blooms are very attractive to butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Large fleshy green cone-shaped fruit pods follow the bloom, becoming dry and leathery as they ripen. Ripe pods split down one side to reveal many seeds topped with airy plumes of silvery white hairs that catch the wind and carry the seeds away.

Redring milkweed thrives in full to partial sun and well-drained, average soil. It is sensitive to disturbance, so plants do not transplant well and are best propagated from seed. This adaptable and desirable perennial is great for naturalistic plantings such as wildflower and butterfly gardens. The dried pods are also used in everlasting flower arrangements making these plants equally suitable for cutting gardens.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    1'-3' / 0.3m - 0.9m

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, Central United States, South-Central United States, Texas

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes