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Asclepias viridiflora (Green comet milkweed)
Cressler, Alan

Asclepias viridiflora

Asclepias viridiflora Raf.

Green Comet Milkweed, Green-flowered Milkweed, Green Milkweed, Wand 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 Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Green Comet Milkweed is a perennial from a vertical rootstock. Two foot tall stems are mostly solitary or in pairs and bear 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

34 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

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
Fruit Type: Follicle
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall.
Flower: Flowers 7 mm

Bloom Information

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


USA: 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 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

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.

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According 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

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1788 Collected 2015-09-20 in Collin County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
LBJWC-1772 Collected 2015-08-31 in Williamson County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

2 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2019-11-28
Research By: TWC Staff

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