Asclepias viridiflora (Green Milkweed)
|Also known as:||Green Comet Milkweed|
|Habitat:||sun; dry prairies, edges of woods, sandy soil|
|Bloom season:||June - August|
|Plant height:||1 to 3 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are in a densely packed round cluster about 2 inches across arising from a leaf axil. Individual flowers are pale green, ¼ inch across and ½ inch long with a 5-parted crown and 5 petals that pull straight back away from the crown, sometimes flaring a bit. Sometimes there is a purplish tint to the flowers. Each plant has 1 to a few clusters.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are variable depending on the habitat. In dryer soils, they tend to be quite narrow, over 6 inches long and to 1 inch wide, folding up lengthwise some from the central vein. In moister soils, they are less than 6 inches long, wider and more oval shaped with a pointed tip. Leaves may have scattered hairs and the edges are often a little wavy. Attachment is mostly opposite, though some leaves may be alternately attached. The main stem is covered in short matted hair and may be tinged purple. Plants may be erect but tends to lean over.
Green Milkweed resembles the rare Narrow-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias stenophylla) but has wider leaves and greener, more numerous flowers in tighter clusters with petals that only flare slightly. All Asclepias were formerly in family Asclepiadaceae but have been reassigned to Apocynaceae (Dogbane).
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Wild River State Park, Chisago County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka County.
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