Clasping Milkweed
 
Asclepias amplexicaulis

Photo Citations

Naturedigger would like to thank the following individuals for their contributions to the clasping milkweed (Asclepias amplexicaulis) identification slide:

Flower image provided by: Alan Cressler, Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center

White flower inset image provided by: Brad Grimm, Grow Milkweed Plants

Deep purple flower inset image provided by: Hazech - iNaturalist observation (cropped) CC BY-NC 4.0

Leaf image provided by: Brad Grimm, Grow Milkweed Plants  (cropped)

Pod image provided by: Jason K. Sepka, iNaturalist Observation, (cropped) CC BY-NC 4.0

Asclepias amplexicaulis Profile

Common Name(s):

clasping milkweed

bluntleaf milkweed

blunt-leaved milkweed

sand milkweed

 

Scientific Name:

Asclepias amplexicaulis

 

Native Range:

AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS

KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC

NE, NH, NJ, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN,

TX, VA, VT, WI, WV

USDA Symbol:

ASAM

 

Habitat:

• prairies

• roadsides

• open woods

• meadows and fields

 

Growing Conditions:

• sandy soils

• full sun

 

Plant Height:
• glabrous, waxy, whitish surface

• 1-3 feet (0.25-1 meter)

 

Stem Description:

• smooth

 

Leaf Description: 

• clasp the stem

• broad

• waxy

• leathery

• no petiole

• lighter on underside than top

 

Leaf Arrangement:

• opposite

 

Leaf Margin:

• wavy or smooth

 

Leaf Surface:

• shiny

Flowering Period: 

• May through August


Flower Description: 

• very large umbel

• pink, green, white, red and deep purple (highly variable)

• occur in a single umbel at the top of the stem

Pod Description:

• smooth

• erect

• 4-5 inches long (10 - 13 centimeters)

• short contorted stalk

• wide in the middle and tapered at both ends

 

Other Information:

• color is highly variable

• extremely fragrant

• attracts large numbers of native bees

• is considered rare in some states and protected

 

Similar Species:

• Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). Umbel is similar, however, leaves do not clasp stems and stems are hairy. Pods are not smooth, but very bumpy 

• Purple milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens), has a terminal umbel and color is deep rose. Also has broad leaves, but they are petiolate not clasping

 

Locate and Purchase Seeds (when available):

 

Xerces Society Milkweed Seed Finder 

 

Milkweed and Wildflower Vendors

 

 

For More Information About This Species Visit:

 

Minnesota Wildflowers

 

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

 

Xerces Regional Milkweed Guide

 

USDA Plants Database

iNaturalist