by Eleanor Dietrich, Florida Wildflower Foundation
This is one of the wetland milkweeds (Asclepias perennis) that grows in our area. One of the places it can be seen blooming is in the floodplains at the Florida Caverns State Park in Marianna, but it is also present in other similar habitats. It can grow up to two feet tall with several stems growing from the base of the plant. The dark green leaves are opposite of each other on the stem, lance shaped, and between two and six inches long. The flowers are borne in clusters (umbels) at the end of the stalks and are one to two inches wide. They are a bright white (sometimes pinkish) in color. These plants are now available in nurseries that grow native plants, so you can include them in your garden. The Monarch butterflies often lay their eggs on these plants. It will bloom from May through September and is a perennial.