Sun: Full or partial

Moisture: Medium-wet to dry

Height: 3'

Bloom Time: June-August

Bloom Color: Pink

Genotype: Ypsilanti Township

Indigenous interactions: In the Great Lakes area, the Ojibwa made a cold decoction of the root to promote milk flow, and also ate the stewed buds, flowers, young leaves and shoots. They also applied the roots to deer whistles. The Ojibwa and Potawatomi used the flowers in meat soups, and dried them for winter soups. The Menominee ate the buds or made a root decoction as a pulmonary aid, and they and the Potawatomi used the outer back to make cordage. (Moerman, 1998).

Other uses: Milkweed floss from Northern Michigan was used during WWII as a substitute for kapok in life preservers (Berkman, 1942), leading to a milkweed floss factory being erected in Petosky in 1942. Ground milkweed seed, with its oils removed, has proved to be an effective pesticide against nematodes in potato fields (Harry-O'Kuru, et al, 1999).


This rugged native with the candy-sweet fragrance wafting from its pink spherical compound flower attracts many pollinators that include long- and short-tongued bees, skippers, and butterflies. It's also a host plant for the Monarch butterfly. Common Milkweed can spread once established, but is easy to weed out. Deer resistant. 

Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed)