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Howard, Aaron F; Barrows, Edward M (2014). "Self-pollination rate and floral-display size in Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed) with regard to floral-visitor taxa". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 14 (1): 144. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-14-144. PMC 4080991.PMID 24958132.
Depending on the local ecotype, Common Milkweed is highly variable in appearance. The color of the flowers may be highly attractive, or faded and dingy-looking. This plant is often regarded as a weed to be destroyed, but its flowers and foliage provide food for many kinds of insects. Common Milkweed can be distinguished from other milkweeds by its prickly follicles (seedpods) – other Asclepias spp. within Illinois have follicles that are smooth, or nearly so.The large flower can vary in color from nearly white to deep pink-purple. The fragrance is very delicate and pleasing and numerous native pollinators will benefit during its long bloom time. Common Milkweed looks similar to Prairie Milkweed (Asclepias sullivantii) and Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa).
I live in Southwest Florida and I’ve been looking at more species of milkweed to grow. I have lots of caterpillars year-round here and I’m looking into creating a butterfly breeding cage. Currently, I’m growing Asclepias Curassavica, Incarnata, Verticillata, and Calotropis Gigantea. These are doing great, but I constantly find myself running out and I don’t have a ton of space to grow things around here.Great question Anne! I’m a big believer in fall planting and preparing for the next season. If you don’t like how your garden looks currently, the end of the season is also a good time for transplanting. We grow common and showy milkweed and you can usually differentiate them between the leaves…both can be invasive in the garden. If you’re looking for a good host and nectar plant that doesn’t spread through underground rhizomes, asclepias incarnata is a good option: (Source: monarchbutterflygarden.net)