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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - March 31, 2015

From: Sarasota, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: General Botany, Wildflowers
Title: Is Common Milkweed a Succulent?
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Is the common milkweed (butterfly plant) classified as a succulent?

ANSWER:

Asclepias syriaca, the common milkweed is a different species from the beautiful butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) but they are closely related and in the Asclepiadaceae family.

Merriam-Webster says that a succulent (relating to plants) is one having fleshy tissues that conserve moisture. While there are some members of the Asclepiadaceae family that have storage organs to conserve moisture and are classified as succulents, the common milkweed and butterfly weed are not in this group. Take a look at the Succulent Plant Page under the Asclepiadaceae family for information about which plants in this family are classed as succulents. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Common milkweed
Asclepias syriaca

Common milkweed
Asclepias syriaca

Common milkweed
Asclepias syriaca

Common milkweed
Asclepias syriaca

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Butterflyweed
Asclepias tuberosa

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