Poke Milkweed or Tall Milkweed (ass-KLE-pee-us: eks-all-TAY-tuh) Asclepiadaceae:
White to purplish-tinted white flowers in good sized, somewhat lax umbels. Leaves are petioled and flat, The corolla is greenish and the umbels are loose with the pedicels drooping. The scented flowers are loved by butterflies and other nectar feeding insects. Plants grow 3 to 6 feet tall, with the largest plants produced in moister retentive soils. Plants have single stems that are upright growing, with paired leaves produced widely spaced along the stem length. The leaves can be large, and often have gently undulating margins. This species is nearly glabrous throughout with two opposite lines of pubescence on the usually simple stem. Leaves are oppositely positioned and thin or membranous, oval ovate or oblong acuminate in shape at both ends. The leaves are 4 to 9 inches long, and widest near the bottom. The base of the leaves is sometimes obovate obtuse. Blooms in early to mid summer. A shade tolerant milkweed species, doing well under open trees with dappled sunlight. An attractive species with large leaves and distinctive flowers.
Native to eastern USA and Canada, found in thickets and woods. The seeds are best started by soaking them in warm water for 24 hours, change the water every 8 hours with fresh warm water. Sow on top of a moist sand based seed starting media and keep for 4 weeks at 33-39F, move to 68F for germination.