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woolly milkweed

woolly milkweed (Asclepias lanuginosa) [state endangered]
Photo © Gerald Tang

Features and Behaviors

Woolly milkweed grows to a height of less than one foot. Leaves are arranged alternately along the stem. Seedpods grow to about four inches in length. Flowers are positioned at the stem tip and are pale green in color, sometimes with purple on the back.

Woolly milkweed flowers from May through June. It is found in the northern one-sixth of Illinois. Woolly milkweed grows in rocky or gravel prairies where it reaches its eastern range limit. Its populations have been reduced by overgrazing and gravel mining, and it is endangered in the state.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: state endangered, native