Asclepias speciosa is similar in form to Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, but its rhizomes are less aggressive making it better for garden use. It produces 4" rounded clusters of fragrant, spiky, pinkish-purple flowers that top thick stems of large, velvety blue-green leaves most of the summer. Like other milkweeds it is both a source of nectar and larval food for Monarch butterflies.
Commonly referred to as Showy Milkweed, perennial Asclepias speciosa is native to western North America, from Texas to Illinois and Michigan west to the Pacific Coast. It is typically found on dry slopes, open woodlands, roadsides and waste areas.
Asclepias speciosa prefers full sun and tolerates a wide range of soils from moist to dry. This butterfly favorite is also deer resistant and very drought tolerant.