Common Milkweed

Weeds

Silkweed, Cotton-weed, Wild Cotton, Virginia Silk

Asclepias syriaca


Common milkweed is one of the few perennial weeds that will not tolerate routine mowing. It prefers well-drained soils and full sunlight and is frequently found in naturalized and boundary areas. Milkweed is easily identified by its upright growth habit and large (entire) leaves. All plant parts will exude a milky white latex when broken.

  • Crops Affected: Turfgrass

    Management

    Common milkweed will not tolerate routine mowing. It may take a season to exhaust the stored energy of the rhizomes. Milkweed has only recently become a problem on golf courses and commercial properties with the expansion of wildlife refuge, naturalized or no-mow areas.

    Similar Species

    Common milkweed is closely related to hemp dogbane. The leaves of dogbane are much smaller than milkweed. Dogbane plants will have more branching in the upper half of the plant. The stems of dogbane are typically red-to-purple. Both plants will exude a milky white latex when broken.