Asclepias syriaca L.
Family: Apocynaceae
common milkweed, silkweed
Asclepias syriaca image
Elizabeth Parnis  
Etymology: Asclepias: named for the Greek god of healing Asklepios
Plants: erect, perennial, 3'-6' tall forb, milky juice; mostly single, stout, hairy stems; colony-forming roots
Leaves: thick, elliptical to oblong, softly hairy, stalked
Flowers: pink to cream, 5-parted, 3/8"-5/8" tall, with the short, inwardly-curved horns shorter than the pale purple hoods; inflorescence several, densely-flowered, stalked, drooping umbels; blooms June-Aug.
Fruits: large, rough pods held erect on downwardly-pointing stalks; many seeds with silky hairs
Habitat: full to partial sun; dry to wet; meadows, fields, prairies; in sandy, loamy soil
Hazardous: Careful, this plant is hazardous!
Conservation Status: Native