Scientific Name:
Asclepias syriaca
cardiac glycosides
Flower Color:
roadsides, waterside, wasteareas, fields, haybales

Geographical Distribution

Milkweed distribution - United States


Asclepias syriaca

cottonweed, silkweed, virginia silk, wild cotton
6/ 10
Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca ) is an erect-stemmed, herbaceous perennial plant. Milkweed stems and leaves contain a thick, white, milky sap throughout the plant which seeps out when the plant is damaged.

Milkweed produces clusters of tiny green to purple tinted flowers which bloom from May to August. Flowers are arranged in clusters at the top of the plant. It's fruits are spindle-shaped follicles covered with silky white hairs. The seed pods are often used in dried flower arrangements.

Toxic components
All parts of the milkweed plant contains cardiac glycosides, resinoids and alkaloids. Poultry need only consume 0.005 to 2% of their body weight to be poisoned.


  • Dullness
  • depression
  • dilated pupils
  • spasms
  • difficulty breathing
  • weakness
  • inability to stand or walk
  • irregular heart rate
  • uncoordinated gait
  • labored breathing
  • high body temperature
  • rapid and weak pulse
  • coma


CHEMICAL CONTROL: Milkweed is tolerant of most herbicides. Control requires multiple herbicide applications. Best if applied when milkweed is in the late-bud to flowering stage and actively growing. Patch-spray Roundup at 6 to 8 pt/A (up to 10pt/A is allowed). Apply Roundup with AMS at 8.5 lb/100 gallons of water.