Nodding Onion Gardens

Native Plant Nursery

Where Wildflowers Grow

Columbia Station, Ohio, USA


Asclepias exaltata - Poke Milkweed (Tall Milkweed)

Ohio Native Plant -Natural Range

Asclepias exaltata

The United State Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Conservation Services has a wonderful map showing the natural range of Poke Milkweed

A plump green, black and yellow monarch caterpillar munching on a milkweed leaf
Plump Monarch Caterpillar munching on milkweed leaves
Photo by Roger Dahlin, Monarch caterpillar hosting on Poke Milkweed.

Cultivation Information 

Asclepias exaltata

Pronounced - ass-Klep-ee-ass

Height -
2 to 5 ft

Flower Color - White
Blooms - June - July
Sun - Part sun to shade

Hardy Zone -3 to 8
Soil - Medium to dry

Family - Ascelepidacae

A fuzzy Milkweed tussock moth feasting on milkweed
Milkweed tussock moth munching on Poke Milkweed

Understanding Milkweed Plants

A Guide to the Milkweeds of Ohio - Natural Treasures oh Ohio - Blog

Seed Provenance - Asclepias exaltata -

Everwild Farms- New Auburn WI - 2011 - Nodding Onion Gardens - 2012 - present

The flowers on Poke Milkweed look like miniature, elegant fairy bells
Poke Milkweed - in Bloom

Wildlife Significance - Poke Milkweed

Deer - Not Fond of Milkweed plants

Nectar Sources - For long-tongued bees, skippers, butterflies:Spicebush Swallowtail, Eastern Black Swallowtail, Eastern Tiger Swallow, Clouded Sulphur, Spring, Azure, Great Spangled Frittary, Eastern Tailed Blue, Silver Spotted Skipper and moths

Several Milkweed Species - By adding milkweed species to your garden that bloom at various times you provide a potential food source for butterflies June - September. In turn you are helping build butterfly populations including the Monarch.

Host Plant - Monarch butterflies, Milkweed tussock moth. Milkweed Tiger Moth, Queen Butterfly.

For more details on this plant visit the Illinois Wildflower website

Green Poke Milkweed flowers that have yet to bloom
Asclepis excaltata does well in the shade
Poke Milkweed flowers that are still green.
Poke Milkweed doing quite well in this shady garden