This herbaceous perennial plant comes in a variety of colors and shapes. Most can be found blooming in the early summer to fall. There are about 140 species of plants under the genus Asclepias. Tennessee claims 13 of these species native: amplexicaulis, exaltata, hirtella, incarnata, perennis, purpurascens, quadrifolia, syriaca, tuberosa, variegata, verticillate, virdiflora, viridis. These plants are vital to support the Monarch butterfly, whose caterpillars strictly feed on milkweed foliage. The flowers are also attractive to other pollinators. Did you know that the white, milky sap in milkweed contains a type of toxin called glycosides that makes the monarch poisonous to it’s predators? Only monarch caterpillars are adapted to consume this toxin and be unaffected. Flowers bloom in the summer, typically appearing in June / July.