Thursday, February 25, 2010

Savannah Milkweed - Asclepias pedicellata

Savannah milkweed (Asclepias pedicellata) is yet another diminutive milkweed that largely goes unnoticed in the Florida landscape.  It occurs statewide in open upland habitats, such as pine flatwoods and prairie.  It is not especially drought tolerant, but prefers average conditions during much of the year and moist soils during the summer rainy season.
Savannah milkweed is deciduous during the winter.  It emerges in the spring, but is easy to miss as it never reaches a height much taller than about 1 foot.  Its leaves are linear and only about 1-2 inches long. They also are opposite on the stem.
Flowering occurs in the summer.  Small heads of flower buds near the top of the main stem open to become rather plain yellowish flowers.  They are quite distinctive because the petals do not curve backwards, and each is urn shaped. 
I am not aware of anyone ever offering savannah milkweed for sale commercially and it is not likely to ever generate much demand because of its size and lack of showy blooms.  It would make an interesting milkweed to a mixed wildflower planting, however.  We have not grown this species at Hawthorn Hill and do not intend to add it unless someone inquires.

6 comments:

  1. Yes, very informative. Thanks.

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  2. Could you let me know where this plant is located please?

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  3. This milkweed is found pretty much everywhere in Florida - in upland habitats - sunny and well-drained soils. Because it is not very tall and is rather lanky, it is easy to overlook even when in bloom.

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  4. We believe we have found it here in New Hanover County of North Carolina. It is blooming now (May 26). Is that early?

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  5. No - not too early. I just found some here over the weekend. It is not a fall-flowering species and can be found with flowers from late spring to mid-summer, from my experience.

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  6. No - not too early. I just found some here over the weekend. It is not a fall-flowering species and can be found with flowers from late spring to mid-summer, from my experience.

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