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We are happy to finally be able to have these seeds available again for our customers!
Asclepias purpurascens, the purple milkweed, is native to the Eastern, Southern and Midwestern United States similar to the range of the common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). The plant gets its name from the flowers that first develop a pink color but then turn darker purple as they mature. Unlike common milkweed, purple milkweed prefers some shade and is considered a plant of partial shade. The species rarely produces seed pods which are smooth instead of the rough warty ones produced by common milkweed.
It is listed endangered in Massachusetts and Wisconsin, as historical to Rhode Island, and as a special concern species in Connecticut and Tennessee.
Like other members of the milkweeds, several insects live off the plant, including the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), the milkweed beetle (Tetraopes tetraophtalmus), large milkweed bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus), small milkweed bug (Lygaeus kalmii) and milkweed leaf beetle (Labidomera clivicollis). Other insects and pollinators feed off the flower's nectar.
This species is sometimes cultivated in gardens designed to attract butterflies, but is less common than the light purple swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) or the orange butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa). The nectar of the plant attracts many other species of butterflies and insects as well.
Rare and limited supply.
Type: Hardy perennial
Height: 60-90 cm (24-36 in)
Location: Part sun
Hardiness zones: 3-8
Seeds per pack: 5
Note: Ornamental use only. These seeds and/or plants are poisonous.
Germination: Start these seeds right away to preserve viability, no matter the time of year. Sow the seeds just under the surface of a sterile seed-start mix, and water in. Then cover them with plastic and place in a fridge for 5-6 weeks. Be sure they stay moist. After the cold stratification period they are then brought back to room temperature for them to germinate. Germination is generally within 60 days after the warming period, though they could take a few months. If possible, the best location for sowing in March, April and May, is in cold frame or a cold greenhouse where they will receive the cold period and fluctuating temperatures naturally.
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