Asclepias syriaca

English name(s):
Common Milkweed
Family:  Asclepiadaceae
Description:
The succulent leaves and fragrant mauve-colored flowers, which delightfully perfume the air, provide sustenance for wildlife that seek its nectar, leaf, seed, and plant juices as well as those who seek these insect visitors themeselves. It is a host plant for the Monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus.
Habitat:
fields and roadsides
Notes:
Linnaeus classified common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, in 1753. However, the plant has been found referenced in historical publications as Asclepias cornuti.
cornuti = horned
Additional notes:
monarch migration News
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photograph courtesy of Lisa K. SchlaG

photograph courtesy of Lisa K. SchlaG

Xerces Society:

Project Milkweed 

Milkweed: A Conservation Practioner's Guide

USDA map: to view county distribution for Ohio, double click Ohio several times

Plant identification
The Ohio State University Herbarium:
Geauga County, 12 August 1978, collectors:  George T. Jones & Mark Long  voucher specimen
view additional voucher specimens and related information

Newcomb's: Key Group no. 542, p. 264

Historical description:  Naturalist F. Schuyler Mathews' description of common milkweed, Asclepias cornuti, in his book Familiar Flowers of Field and Garden, 1894.

Mrs. William Starr Dana's description of common milkweed, Asclepias cornuti, in her book How to Know the Wild Flowers, 1895. The scientific name Asclepias syriaca was used in the 1963 revised edition. Clarence J. Hylander writes in the preface of the 1963 revised edition, "... the nomenclature has had to be carefully revised to conform with the Eighth Edition (1950) of Gray's Manual of Botany. As a result, all common and scientific names have been checked and now agree with those used in recent flower field guides.", p. viii.

  USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 30.  

 

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 30.

 

 
photograph courtesy of Lisa K. SchlaG

photograph courtesy of Lisa K. SchlaG

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 28.  

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 28.

 

Milkweed
Little weavers of the summer,
with sunbeam shuttle bright,
And loom unseen by mortals,
you are busy day and night,
Weaving fairy threads as filmy,
and soft as cloud swans, seen
In broad blue sky-land rivers,
above earth's field of green.
....
The clasp of pouch unfastened,
Each tiny strand takes flight,
For they're surely downy feathers.
Of cloud swans soft and white.

Among Flowers and Trees with the Poets (1901), Ray Laurance  


  


virtual herbarium sheet 000011
 created by Lisa K. SchlaG, 22.vi.2014