Asclepias viridiflora Raf.
Green milkweed, Green comet milkweed, Green antelopehorn milkweed, Green-flowered milkweed
Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed Family)
Synonym(s): Acerates viridiflora, Acerates viridiflora var. ivesii, Acerates viridiflora var. linearis, Asclepias viridiflora var. lanceolata, Asclepias viridiflora var. linearis
USDA Symbol: asvi
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.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
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 InformationBloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , AZ , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , ON , SK
Native Distribution: Endangered in FL; Threatened in NY.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
BenefitWarning: 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
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees
Special Value to Honey Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Asclepias viridiflora in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Asclepias viridiflora in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Asclepias viridiflora
MetadataRecord Modified: 2014-07-01
Research By: TWC Staff