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showy milkweed

showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa)
Photo © Gerald Tang

Features and Behaviors

Showy milkweed grows up to three feet in height. Pairs of leaves are arranged opposite each other on the stem. Seedpods grow up to three inches in length. Flowers are positioned in the leaf axils and have red-purple petals with pink hoods.

Showy milkweed flowers June through August. It grows in a few counties in northern Illinois along railroads and in moist areas. This species was introduced from the western United States. The flowers are larger than those of other milkweeds in Illinois.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, nonnative