Asclepias purpurascens, commonly known as Purple milkweed, is a unique species of Asclepias with vibrant, deep purple to rose pink flowers that bloom from May to July. Asclepias purpurascens grow in wet meadows or woodland edges, with a height of 2-3' tall. Purple Milkweed prefers full sun to part shade and well-draining, disturbed soils. Purple milkweed is a host plant to the Monarch butterfly, while also attracting many other pollinators. Various butterflies and native bees that visit the sweet smelling flowers to sip on nectar. Purple Milkweed is a deer and drought tolerant, and spreads by slow rhizomes.
Asclepias purpurascens shares similar characteristics to Asclepias syriaca, except for their umbel of flowers. As the name purpurascens eludes, these flowers produce a gorgeous purple/fuchsia hue that vibrates against the tall meadow grasses it grows among. Also unlike Asclepias syriaca, it is not an aggressive seeder, which makes it a friendlier option for home gardens.
Asclepias purpurascens and Asclepias syriaca are known to to genetically cross-pollinate. This leads to hybrids which do not always carry over vibrant purple flowers.