Jul 06 2011
We think of milkweeds as sun-loving plants so it was surprising to find this species deep in the woods in the Laurel Highlands.
Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata) would not have caught my attention that day if it hadn’t been in bloom. The flowers are a pale version of Common Milkweed with fewer flowers per cluster on long drooping stems. In deep shade they look like lazy, ghostly starbursts.
The species name exaltata means the plant is tall. My specimen was over three feet high though they can grow as tall as six feet.
You’ll find this sweet-smelling flower in woods and at woodland edges from Ontario to Mississippi.
(photo by Dianne Machesney)