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Showy Milkweed · Asclepias speciosa

© Larry Everson 2002

Description: Perennial (2 - 3 ft) with beautiful scented two-tiered flowers in summer. Five star-like stamens form the upper tier; the hanging, pink petals form the lower tier. Sun, moderate-regular water.

Showy Milkweed is a treasure for Northwest butterfly gardeners. Pictured here, a Western Tiger Swallowtail nectars on Asclepias speciosa. Milkweeds are essential host plants for Monarch butterflies, as they provide the sole food source for their caterpillars. Below, milkweed seed pod awaits an advantageous air current.

© Ellen Mast