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Fewflower milkweed
Asclepias lanceolata

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 14 January 2015
In habitat, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also wildflower and butterfly gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes: An occasional but widespread understory herb in open freshwater wetlands and pinelands.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts and occasionally by native plant nurseries.

Description: Erect medium wildflower, with narrow leaves; barely noticeable when not in flower.

Dimensions: Typically 2-3 feet in height. Taller than broad.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Southeastern United States north to New Jersey, west to Texas and south to Miami-Dade County and the Monroe County mainland.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Wet pinelands and marl prairies.

Soils: Wet to moist, seasonally inundated calcareous or sandy soils, without humus.

Nutritional Requirements: Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: Low; requires moist to wet soils and is intolerant of long periods of drought.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Red and orange.

Flower Characteristics: Showy.

Flowering Season: Summer.

Fruit: Slender pod (follicle) with wind dispersed seeds.

Wildlife and Ecology: Larval host plant for monarch (Danaus plexippus) and queen (Danaus gilippus) butterflies; possible larval host of soldier (Danaus eresimus) butterflies. Nectar plant for monarch (Danaus plexippus) and other butterflies. Also attracts bees and other insect pollinators.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed.

Comments: An excellent butterfly plant for wet spots in the garden. See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation's Flower Friday page and Monarchs & Milkweed flyer. See also a 2022 post on the Treasure Coast Natives blog about Asclepias lanceolata's relationship with the Queen butterfly.

Copyright by: George D. Gann, 14 January 2015
In habitat, Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: John Bradford

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Asclepias lanceolata available from:

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