Fewflower Milkweed
Asclepias lanceolata

Photo Citations

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

Main flower image provided by: Eric Keith; iNaturalist observation (cropped)CC BY-NC 4.0

Inset flower image provided by: Mary Keim; iNaturalist observation (cropped)CC BY-NC 4.0

Pod image provided by: Jeff Stauffer; iNaturalist observation (cropped)CC BY-NC 4.0

Leaf and Stem Image by: Nathan Shepard; iNaturalist observation (cropped), CC BY-NC 4.0

Asclepias lanceolata Profile

Common Name(s):

fewflower milkweed

fewflowered milkweed

few-flower milkweed

red milkweed

purple silkweed

Cedar Hill milkweed


Scientific Name:

Asclepias lanceolata


USDA Symbol:


Native Range:




• fresh to brackish marshes

• wet pinelands

• moist ditches

• low glades

• savannas

• may be found growing in same habitat as salt marshmallow (Kostelezkya virginica)


Growing Conditions:

• full sun but may tolerate semi-shaded areas

• sandy or loamy low-nutrient soils

• both fresh and brackish (requires a lot of water)


Plant Height:
• 3-5 feet (1-1.5 meters) tall


Stem Description:

• smooth

• slender

• green to purplish

• branches near the top of plant


Leaf Description:

• linear to lance shaped

• acuminate apex

• short petiole or sessile

• blades may be curved upward from midvein

• wide spacing between pairs of leaves along stem


Leaf Arrangement:

• opposite


Leaf Margin:

• entire


Leaf Surface:

• hairless

• approximately 6 inches (15.25 centimeters) long

• approximately 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) wide


Flowering Period: 

• May through August

Flower Description:

• sparse heads of bright orangish to red flowers 

• 1-3 umbels that grow at the ends of stems

• hoods extend well above stigmatic disc

• horns are obvious and curved inward


Flower Color:

• corolla (petals) orangish red to reddish purple

• corona (horns and hoods) yellowish orange to reddish purple


Pod Description:

• long and slender

• mostly hairless

• erect and occur on deflexed pedicels


Other Information:

• special value to native bees and supports conservation biological control by attracting parasitoid insects that prey on pests

• was first described by Dr. Eli Ives in the neighborhood of Cedar Hill located in New Haven, CT, which is why one of the common names is Cedar Hill milkweed

• the species name lanceolata comes from the shape of the lance-shaped leaves

To Locate and Purchase Seeds (when available):


Xerces Society Milkweed Seed Finder 


Milkweed and Wildflower Vendors


Grow Milkweed Plants



For More Information About This Species Visit:


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center


North Carolina Extension Gardner


USDA Plants Database