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Asclepias humistrata (Pinewoods milkweed)
Cressler, Alan

Asclepias humistrata

Asclepias humistrata Walter

Pinewoods Milkweed, Sandhill Milkweed

Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed Family)


USDA Symbol: ASHU3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The smooth, stout, unbranched stems of this milkweed generally occur in spreading clusters which ascend 1-1 1/2 ft. The spreading habit; 5-10 pairs of broad, clasping leaves; tan-colored flowers buds; a nearly white crown; and erect fruits on drooping pedicels are the perennialís prominent features. Leaves are distinctly purple-veined and the white flowers sometimes have a touch of lavender.

Humistrata means low growing or sprawling, a term that fits the prostrate growth form of this species with stems that are flat or nearly flat to the ground. Stems are purplish, a color that continues along the veins into the dull green leaves (Webref 20).


From the Image Gallery

12 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Venation: Pinnate
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Inflorescence: Umbel
Fruit Type: Follicle
Size Notes: Stems sprawling or ascending, up to about 18 inches long.
Leaf: Clasping. Stem and veins in the leaves are a pale purple. Leaf arrangement is opposite and attachment is sessile.
Flower: Color is pink to white. Corolla color generally a light pink compared to the hoods and horns that are cream to white. Flower size, approximately 3/16 in (5 mm) wide by 7/16 in (1 cm) long. 30 +/- flowers per umbel.
Fruit: Pods 3-5 in (7 1/2 - 12 3/4 cm) long. Stands erect. Seed Color Brown.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , SC
Native Distribution: S.e. LA to FL, n. to NC
Native Habitat: Sand hills; dry, oak woods; pine barrens. Dry areas with sandy soils, often within or adjacent to relatively open forests.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Full sun to nearly full sun. This flower tolerates very hot, dry conditions.


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
Attracts: Butterflies

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special 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.


Description: Root cuttings can be taken in fall or early spring. Seeds may be sown outside in late fall or the following spring. Germination of spring-planted seeds is enhanced by moist stratification.
Seed Treatment: Stratify 3 months at 40 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes

Web Reference

Webref 20 - Milkweed Profiles (0) Monarch Watch

Additional resources

USDA: Find Asclepias humistrata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Asclepias humistrata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Asclepias humistrata


Record Modified: 2015-08-27
Research By: TWC Staff

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