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For Your Garden - October 2014

Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.

horsetail milkweed (Asclepias verticillata)

Horsetail milkweed grows naturally in prairies, fields and rocky woods in Illinois. It can be found throughout the state. These plants are fairly short, usually less than 24 inches tall. Leaves are very thin and no longer than three inches in length. The flowers are white and appear in clusters at the stem tip. Flowering occurs from May through September. Flowers have an hourglass shape. The fruits are narrow pods, about three inches long.

Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.

Illinois Range

Native Plant Information

For more information about Illinois native plants, visit our Native Habitat Descriptions, Requirements, and Plant Lists page. The following publications are available from the IDNR on our publications page.


​Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Gentianales
Family: Asclepiadaceae

Illinois Status: common, native