Asclepias verticillata (Whorled Milkweed)
|Also known as:|
|Habitat:||sun; dry fields, prairies, sandy open woods, roadsides|
|Bloom season:||July - September|
|Plant height:||1 to 2 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: UPL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are in rounded clusters 1 to 3 inches across that arise from the leaf axils in the upper part of the plant, and at the top of the plant. Each cluster usually has 10 to 20 flowers. Individual flowers are about ¼ long, have a 5-parted crown with a curved horn projecting out of each of the 5 short hoods, arching over the tall column in the center. 5 light green petals bent downward and flare out beneath.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are up to 3 inches long and very narrow, less than 1/8 inch wide, with a prominent central vein. Whorls of 3 to 6 leaves are densely packed along the stem but spread out as the plant matures. Leaves initially point up but become more horizontal or turned downward with age. The stem is slender and has fine hairy lines that extend down from the base of the leaves.
All Asclepias were formerly in family Asclepiadaceae but have been reassigned to Apocynaceae (Dogbane).
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Wild River State Park, Chisago County, and along Hwy 61 in Goodhue County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?