Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Asclepias viridiflora

Green milkweed, Green comet milkweed, Green antelopehorn milkweed, Green-flowered milkweed

Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed Family)

Asclepias viridiflora (Green milkweed)
Cressler, Alan
Green milkweed is a perennial from a vertical rootstock. Two foot tall stems are mostly solitary or in pairs and bear are opposite leaves up to four inches long. Leaves are variable in shape with plants from dry sites having long narrow leaves and those from moist sites having round leaves. 20-80 pale green flowers occur in two inch clusters in upper leaf axils. The pods of green milkweed are about four inches long and pointed at both ends. The pods lack the warts or tubercles found on other common milkweeds.

The specific epithet viridiflora means green-flowered in botanical Latin. Milkweed flowers have a special mechanism to trap insect legs and cause pollen masses to be pulled from the plant.

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31 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Leaf Margin: Entire
Leaf Apex: Acute
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Size Notes: 12 to 32 inches tall.
Flower: Flowers 7 mm
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AL , AZ , AR , CO , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , MD , MI , MN , MS , MO , MT , NE , NJ , NM , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , PA , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , WV , WI , WY , DC
Canada: AB , ON , SK
Native Distribution: Endangered in FL; Threatened in NY.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry


Warning: All plants in the genus Asclepias are probably somewhat toxic, some fatally so, to both humans and animals. The sap of some causes skin irritation in humans. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Last Update: 2015-07-15