Common milkweed – Asclepias syriaca

Common milkweed flower

Common milkweed flower

Common milkweed leaf

Common milkweed leaf

Common milkweed fruit

Common milkweed fruit

Common milkweed mature fruit

Common milkweed mature fruit

Common milkweed upper plant

Common milkweed upper plant

Common milkweed young plant

Common milkweed young plant

Common milkweed

Asclepias syriaca L.
Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed family)

Life cycle
Stoutly erect, patch-forming perennial.

Leaves
Opposite, oval, oblong to egg-shaped leaves are 3 to 8 inches long with smooth margins and distinctly white midveins and veins. The upper leaf surface is dark green and usually smooth; the lower leaf surface is pale green and finely hairy. Leaves exude a milky sap when damaged.

Stems
Stout and erect, rarely branched, up to 6-foot-tall herbaceous stems are finely hairy and hollow and exude a milky sap when damaged.

Flowers and fruit
Purple, pink to white flowers are found in dense, ball-like clusters consisting of 20 to 130 individual flowers. Fruit are large, 3- to 5- inch-long, grayish green, teardrop-shaped pods covered with soft, warty bumps. Pods split open at maturity to release thin, brown, oval seeds each with a tuft of long, silky hairs that aid in wind dissemination.

Reproduction
Seeds, creeping roots and rhizomes.