|Benefits:||Pollinators, Butterflies, Deer Resistant, Host Plant|
|Zones:||3, 4, 5, 6, 7|
You can host Monarch caterpillars in the shade garden with Poke Milkweed. Unique among milkweeds, this Asclepias is one of the most shade tolerant of its genus. Aromatic in bloom, the spreading umbels with white to pink flowers weep downward on individual stems, reminiscent of fireworks. The unique flowers give way to beautiful elongated seed pods.
This woodland native is taller than its prairie and savanna cousins and can reach five feet and sometimes more, in optimal conditions. The leaves can be quite large as well. Moderate moisture with good organic content in partial shade is optimal. Once established its deep taproot will make it nearly impossible to transplant successfully, so it’s best planted where it will be happy, and left undisturbed.
Poke Milkweed is rare in parts of it’s range. It has been known to hybridize with Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) when the plants occur in close proximity.