Spider Milkweed is also commonly known as Green Antelopehorn Milkweed. In Texas, it is quite common and is considered an important food source for the Monarchs as they start their spring migration northward. Spider Milkweed has a native range of Texas north to Nebraska and eastward as far as West Virginia and South Carolina. It can be found along roadsides, ditches, prairies, open areas, and other areas with little vegetative competition. This species tends to be short (12 inches) with multiple stems emerging from the root crown of mature plants. Taller, more erect plants, usually with one or a few stems, can be found in moist prairies. Spider Milkweed features rose-white flowers surrounded by green that form in showy umbellated clusters, often one per plant.
Wild Senna is a versatile plant that we think deserves more recognition as a great choice for garden or restoration projects. Its lovely, bright yellow flowers bloom July-August, attracting many bees and butterflies. Autumn brings beautiful leaf colors and the formation of long black pods with seeds favored by larger birds like wild turkeys. A horizontal root system provides strength against winds, allowing the plant’s stately (4-6′) beauty to be appreciated even after the storm. Some gardeners use this sun-loving plant to form a hedge.
It is virtually indistinguishable from its relative, Maryland Senna (Senna marilandica) until the two species have ripe seeds. The Wild Senna will readily open its pod and the seeds will fall out, whereas the Maryland Senna seed pods will stay tightly closed. Other than this, it is very hard to tell the two species apart.
Asclepias viridiflora Short Green Milkweed is a Michigan native milkweed. While somewhat rare it has an extensive range throughout the United States. The plant matures to 1-3′ in height making it a nice choice for borders. Short Green Milkweed blooms during early summer with blooms lasting about three weeks. Flowers are light green to green and as the plant matures the flowers begin to turn yellowish green or purplish green. It prefers full to partial sun and grows in a variety of soils but prefers dry-mesic to mesic. Habitats include openings in upland forests that are rocky or sandy; upland black soil prairies, sand prairies, gravel prairies, and hill prairies; barrens, limestone glades, and sand dunes; and abandoned fields.
The flowers attract bumblebees and butterflies. Also known as Green Milkweed, Green Comet Milkweed, Green Antelopehorn Milkweed, Green-Flowered Milkweed.
This is a lovely, and very long lived shrub of the prairie. The deep purple flower spikes rise above the silver-gray foliage to create a striking bloom display in June. The very deep taproot allows this plant to be very drought tolerant. Butterflies are attracted.
Poke Milkweed is native to Michigan and can also be found throughout the eastern portion of the United States and Canada. It is most often found at the edges of forests and upland woods and is one of the few milkweeds that prosper in shaded conditions. Tall and elegant with drooping flowers that are white with pink accents and extremely fragrant, this milkweed is a popular nectar source in addition to being a host plant for the Monarch butterfly. This is a non-aggressive milkweed and once established, plants are known to survive for decades.
Asclepias syriaca Common Milkweed is the plant most people think of when they hear the word ‘milkweed’. This Michigan native occurs throughout most of the United States and thrives in almost any well drained soil and produces a profusion of fragrant mauve colored flowers in midsummer. The sweet scented flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators and beneficial insects. Of all the milkweeds this is the easiest and fastest to establish, yet it is known to be invasive and must be used with care. This milkweed grows best in full sun and average to well-drained soil with no irrigation and will tolerate extreme conditions.
Aquatic Milkweed is a petite white milkweed suitable for wet soils. It survives in water and will grow in light-sandy and medium-loamy soils. Native to stream sides it is generally most common in lightly shaded woodlands near streams. This little milkweed is a great performer, being shade tolerant and flowering spring through autumn.
Spikes of elegant white flowers top shiny green foliage in late summer and early fall. Grows best in moist meadows, stream banks, and swamps. Favorite breeding site for the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly.