Mt Cuba Center
Explore the Gardens Virtual Tour Virtual Tour

Mt. Cuba is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm.

An ecological gardening certificate student completes a Native Plants of Fall exam in Mt. Cuba Center's naturalistic gardens.
Ecological Gardening Certificate Learn More Learn More
Program Guide

Classes offered year-round. Learn to garden in harmony with nature, take an art or wellness class, and more!

Wide shot of flowering Amsonia.
Latest Trial: Amsonia for the Mid-Atlantic Region Amsonia for the Mid-Atlantic Region Amsonia for the Mid-Atlantic Region
Trial Garden

Mt. Cuba Center evaluates native plants and related cultivars for horticultural and ecological value.

Mt. Cuba Center's natural lands pictured at sunset.
Protecting Natural Lands Learn More Learn More
Ecological Land Management

Mt. Cuba conserves and stewards more than 1,000 acres including meadows, forests, streams and riparian corridors.

Two guests walk down the West Slope path in spring at Mt. Cuba Center.
Gift a Membership Gift Guide Gift Guide

Enjoy unlimited general admission, member discounts, guest passes, and more!

Mt Cuba Center
Back to list

Asclepias purpurascens

Native Plants

Purple Milkweed

2 Photos


Purple milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) is an attractive and robust herbaceous perennial plant that reaches 2-4’ tall and produces attractive terminal clusters of purple flowers from late spring into summer. It tends to be a clumping plant that spreads less aggressively than other milkweed species. The large, oval, leathery foliage of purple milkweed also develops pinkish accents on the margins and along the leaf veins. This milkweed performs well in partial shade to full sun and prefers moist well-drained soils unlike some species that are more drought tolerant. Purple milkweed is an excellent meadow companion that combines well with closed bottle gentian (Gentiana clausa), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Culver’s-root (Veronicastrumvirginicum), and spike gayfeather (Liatris spicata). Zones 3-8. 

More Details

  • Plant Type
  • Sun/Shade Conditions
  • Foliage Character
  • Soil Moisture
    average, moist 
  • Flowering Period
    early-summer, mid-summer
  • Soil PH
  • Flower Color
    pink, purple 
  • Summer Foliage Color
  • Fall Foliage Color
  • Fruit/Seed Color
    brown, green