Prairie milkweed (Asclepias sulllivantii) - 75 seeds
Prairie milkweed is native to the midwest United States, where it grows in moist prairies and meadows along railroads and rivers or near woodlands, thickets, and roadside ditches. Prairie milkweed can be easily established from seed. This plant can self-seed in the landscape if seed pods are not removed prior to splitting open. Once established, it is best to leave plants undisturbed because they develop deep taproots which make transplanting difficult. Prairie Milkweed is an indicator plant of average to high quality prairies. The seedspods are valued in dried flower arrangements. Prairie milkweed is also known as smooth milkweed and Sullivant's milkweed.
This plant attracts monarch butterflies and other pollinators. It is deer and rabbit resistant. Planting more milkweeds, even in small urban pockets, can provide personal satisfaction and education while helping to counter increasing threats to monarch butterfly populations.
Milkweed plants are the sole larval host plant for monarch butterflies as well as an adult nectar source for various pollinators. If you grow it, they will come!
- U.S. Native Range: AR, IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, OK, SD, and WI
- USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 7 (find your zone)
- Growth Type: Perennial forb/herb (wildflower)
- Plant Family: Apocynaceae (dogbane)
- Bloom: Fragrant pink flowers bloom late spring through early summer
- Height: 2 to 3 feet
- Spread: 1 to 1.5 feet
- Light: Full sun
- Soil: Average to wet moisture; most soil types
- Notes: Seeds require 30 days of cold-moist stratification prior to planting
If you are growing this plant in a butterfly garden that includes larval host plants, follow our tips for a safe and healthy garden. DO NOT USE PESTICIDES of any kind on plants that are part of a butterfly garden or you will poison the creatures that feed on the plant.
Remember that MILKWEED CONTAINS TOXINS. The monarch caterpillar intentionally eats milkweed to become distasteful to protect itself from predators, hence the bright warning colors they feature as adults (butterflies). After handling milkweed, WASH HANDS THOROUGHLY and do not get the milky sap into your eyes or mouth. NEVER ingest any part of a milkweed plant.