Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata )

Unlike most other milkweeds, this species thrives better in partial or full shade. It also grows considerably taller than many other species in the genus. It tends to be less aggressive than many of its cousins.

Plants are currently provided in recycled plastic pots donated to our nursery by community members (size varies, especially at the farmstand!) or in soil blocks. Please read more about soil block here.


Why are We Planting This?

Ecological Gifts
Pollinator favorite and a host plant for the monarch butterfly.

Edible Gifts
Although most species from the Asclepias genus are edible when properly prepared, we can’t find specific ethnobotanical records for this one. Will probably leave it just for the pollinators… for now.

Medicinal Gifts
The plant has a rich medicinal history as well. See more below.

Other Gifts
As documented for other Asclepias species, it’s likely the soft fluff in the seedpods of other milkweed species has buoyant properties. It likely can be similarly used to stuff lifejackets, pillows, or other materials and spun into yarn with other fibers or used as candle wicks. Twine can also similarly be made with fibers from the bark as with other members in this genus.

Read more about the ethnobotany of this milkweed and its history of medicinal uses at Native American Ethnobotany Database.

Additional information


Partial, Shade





Bloom Color


Bloom Time

July, June

Native Plant Category


Type of Plant

Native to Michigan