Wildflower alert

Carolina milkweed

by Eleanor Dietrich

There are 19 different species of milkweed (genus Asclepias), larval host plant for the Monarch caterpillar, that grow in northwest Florida (of 22 total species in Florida). This milkweed (Asclepias cinerea) is different from most of the others in both form and color. It is the only one with grayish flowers that have tints of lavender and white. The flowers are more loosely grouped on slender stems from which the flowers droop. It grows in a variety of habitats but I have seen it most often in open damp areas.