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Asclepias verticillata (Horsetail milkweed)
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Asclepias verticillata

Horsetail milkweed or whorled milkweed

A widely adaptable and tough native is a deer-resistant food for larval butterflies. The fine-textured foliage provides a dark green backdrop for the clusters of white flowers that appear in June and July.

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Asclepias verticillata LP50 - 50 per flat $57.50
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Height

1-3 Feet

Spread

1-2 Feet

Spacing

12 Inches

Bloom Color

White

USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8

Horsetail milkweed Interesting Notes

Please note, Asclepias verticillata is highly toxic to livestock and horses - it should not be allowed to take root in pastures or hayfields.

Many are the oohs and ahhs when my drifts are in full bloom. This petite enchanter has 1-2' stems densely hung with long needle-like leaves so they look something like a cartoon cat's tail after an electric shock. The sweet-scented white flowers open in midsummer, and side branches keep them coming for several weeks. In autumn the leaves turn yellow to orange, and the pencil thin seed capsules are very decorative once they split open. Clumps increase rapidly by runners, but it's easy to keep unwanted stems pulled or dug up. Prairies, meadows, and open woods of the eastern and central United States are it's wild haunts. ~ Cole Burell, American Horticulturist - July/August 1998

The milkweed family name (Asclepiadaceae) is dedicated to the Greek god of medicine, Asklepios. Most of the 2400 species in this family are tropical. The specific epithet verticillata means "whorled" in botanical Latin. Whorled milkweed was first described for science by the great Swedish naturalist and father of modern plant taxonomy Carl von Linne (Linnaeus) in 1753.

 

Asclepias verticillata Growing and Maintenance Tips

Found in dry fields, roadsides and shale barrens, you can see that it needs no coddling. Best located in a sunny dry spot, but will tolerate average to moist garden soil as well.

 

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Butterflies
Butterflies
Full Sun
Full Sun
Part Sun
Part Sun
Summer
Summer
Drought Tolerant
Drought Tolerant
Average
Average
Dry
Dry

Additional Information

Growth Rate
Medium
Season of Interest (Foliage)
Fall
Attributes
Mass Planting
Wildflower Garden
Native to US
Meadow
Dry Sun
Border
Roadside Planting
Native to Northeast
Propagation Type
Open pollinated