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climbing milkweed

climbing milkweed (Matelea decipiens) Photo © Christopher David Benda

Features and Behaviors

Climbing milkweed, also known as oldfield milkvine, grows up to 10 feet in length. Leaves are arranged in pairs, opposite each other on the stem. Seedpods are up to four inches in length Flowers are positioned in the leaf axils and are maroon in color.

Climbing milkweed flowers May through June. It is found in Jackson, Saline and Williamson counties and is endangered in Illinois. This hairy, vining species grows in floodplain forests.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native