One of the most beautiful native perennials with clusters of upturned pink flowers on 4-5’ stems in June and July. The leaves of the red milkweed are a preferred food source of Monarch caterpillars. Preferring moist soils, this is a great plant for naturalizing and for use in rain gardens. No butterfly garden is complete without milkweed!
Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds
Host and nectar plant for monarch butterflies
Lovely vanilla fragrance
Thrives in sun in average or moist soil
Swamps and low meadows; Nova Scotia to Saskatoon, south to Utah, New Mexico and Florida.
Map Credit: The Biota of North America Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)
Plants in the milkweed family produce pods with fluffy seeds that are used by birds to build nests. Some birds, such as Baltimore orioles, also use the stem fibers for nesting material.
Easily grown in medium to wet soils in full sun but is surprisingly tolerant of average, well-drained soils in cultivation. Plants have deep taproots and are best left undisturbed once established. Have patience the leaves are slow to emerge in spring.