Articles on this page are available in 1 other language: Spanish (1) (learn more)

Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This native perennial plant is unbranched and up to 2' tall. Whorls of 4-8 linear leaves occur along the slender central stem. This stem is ridged and hairless. Each leaf is up to 3" long and 1/8" across, with a prominent longitudinal vein, and no hairs. The leaves often curve downward from the stem, and then curl slightly upward toward their outer tips. Along the upper half of the plant are short-stalked umbels of greenish white flowers that emerge from the axils of the leaves. These umbels have up to 20 flowers and span about 2-3" across. Each flower consists of 5 strongly reflexed petals that are light green, and 5 white hoods that are arranged around the center of the flower. An individual flower is about 1/3" across. There is little or no floral scent. The blooming period occurs from early to late summer, and lasts about 1-2 months. Later, slender follicles appear where the flowers have been successfully pollinated. These follicles split along one side to release numerous seeds with large tufts of white hairs. The follicles are about 3-4" long and 2/3" across, with a fairly smooth surface. Seed dispersion is by wind. The root system is fibrous and rhizomatous. This plant often forms colonies.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Comments

This little milkweed blooms later in the year than many other members of the genus, and is good at attracting butterflies. The foliage of this plant resembles a horsetail, but the flowers reveal its membership in the Milkweed family. It can be distinguished from other milkweeds by its skinny whorled leaves and greenish white flowers. Return
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Whorled Milkweed occurs throughout most of Illinois, except for a few southern counties (see Distribution Map). It is occasional to locally common. Habitats include dry areas of black soil prairies, sand prairies, gravel prairies, hill prairies, openings in rocky upland forests, sandy savannas, limestone glades, rocky bluffs along major rivers, pastures and abandoned fields, and grassy slopes along highways. Occasionally, it is found on moist gravelly banks along rivers.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Asclepias verticillata L.:
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 1.0 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Whorled Milkweed occurs throughout most of Illinois, except for a few southern counties (see Distribution Map). It is occasional to locally common. Habitats include dry areas of black soil prairies, sand prairies, gravel prairies, hill prairies, openings in rocky upland forests, sandy savannas, limestone glades, rocky bluffs along major rivers, pastures and abandoned fields, and grassy slopes along highways. Occasionally, it is found on moist gravelly banks along rivers.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Whorled Milkweed in Illinois

Asclepias verticillata (Whorled Milkweed)
(Insects suck nectar; some observations are from Robertson, otherwise they are from Betz, Moure & Hurd, Hilty, Grundel & Pavlovic, Willson & Bertin, and Swengel & Swengel as indicated below)

With pollinia:

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera fq; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus griseocallis fq, Bombus impatiens, Psithyrus citrinus; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla fq; Anthophoridae (Epeolini): Triepeolus lunatus concolor; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Melissodes bimaculata bimaculata fq; Megachilidae (Coelioxini): Coelioxys octodentata; Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis brevis fq; Megachilidae (Trypetini): Heriades variolosa variolosa

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Augochloropsis metallica metallica, Halictus confusus, Halictus rubicunda, Lasioglossum forbesii, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus, Lasioglossum versatus; Halictidae (Sphecodini): Sphecodes dichroa, Sphecodes stygius; Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus affinis

Wasps
Sphecidae (Astatinae): Astata unicolor; Sphecidae (Bembicinae): Bembix nubilipennis; Sphecidae (Crabroninae): Anacrabro ocellatus, Ectemnius rufifemur fq; Sphecidae (Larrinae): Tachytes aurulenta, Tachytes distinctus, Tachytes pepticus fq; Sphecidae (Philanthinae): Cerceris bicornuta, Cerceris clypeata fq, Cerceris compacta fq, Cerceris frontata, Cerceris rufopicta, Eucerceris fulvipes; Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Isodontia apicalis, Prionyx thomae, Sphex ichneumonea fq, Sphex pensylvanica fq; Vespidae: Polistes fuscata; Vespidae (Eumeninae): Eumenes fraterna, Euodynerus annulatus fq, Euodynerus foraminatus, Stenodynerus anormis; Tiphiidae: Myzinum quinquecincta fq; Scoliidae: Scolia bicincta; Pompilidae: Anoplius illinoensis, Anoplius lepidus, Cryptocheilus terminatus, Entypus fulvicornis, Poecilopompilus algidus

Sawflies
Argidae: Arge humeralis

Flies
Mydidae: Mydas clavatus; Syrphidae: Eristalis latifrons, Syritta pipiens, Tropidia quadrata; Conopidae: Physocephala texana, Physocephala tibialis; Tachinidae: Archytas analis, Cylindromyia euchenor, Euclytia flava, Linnaemya comta, Spallanzania hesperidarum, Xanthomelanodes arcuatus; Sarcophagidae: Sphixapata trilineata fq; Muscidae: Neomyia cornicina; Calliphoridae: Cochliomyia macellaria, Phormia regina

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Danaus plexippus

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Polites peckius, Staphylus hayhurstii

Without pollinia:

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Bombini): Bombus pensylvanica

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea, Lasioglossum albipennis, Lasioglossum imitatus; Halictidae (Sphecodini): Sphecodes cressonii

Wasps
Sphecidae (Crabroninae): Lestica confluentus, Oxybelus mexicanus; Sphecidae (Philanthinae): Cerceris finitima; Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Ammophila nigricans, Prionyx atrata, Sceliphron caementaria; Sapygidae: Sapyga interrupta; Chrysididae: Holopyga ventrale

Flies
Syrphidae: Allograpta obliqua, Eristalis arbustorum, Eristalis transversus, Orthonevra nitida, Paragus bicolor, Sphaerophoria contiqua, Toxomerus marginatus, Toxomerus politus; Empidae: Empis clausa; Bombyliidae: Exoprosopa fasciata, Systoechus vulgaris; Conopidae: Physoconops brachyrhynchus; Tachinidae: Copecrypta ruficauda, Gnadochaeta globosa, Gymnoclytia occidua, Paradidyma spinosula, Phasia purpurascens, Plagiomima spinosula, Siphoplagia flaccidirostris (Robertson, MS), Trichopoda pennipes; Sarcophagidae: Gymnoprosopa polita, Helicobia rapax, Sarcophaga sinuata, Senotainia rubriventris; Muscidae: Graphomya americana, Limnophora narona; Anthomyiidae: Calythea nigricans; Sepsidae: Sepsis violacea

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Phyciodes tharos, Speyeria cybele, Vanessa atalanta; Lycaenidae: Everes comyntas; Lycaena hyllus; Pieridae: Colias philodice, Pieris rapae; Papilionidae: Papilio cresphontes

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Achalarus lyciades, Pholisora catullus, Polites themistocles, Pompeius verna

Moths
Ctenuchidae: Cisseps fulvicollis

Beetles
Cerambycidae: Typocerus sinuatus; Rhipiphoridae: Macrosiagon limbata; Scarabaeidae (Cetonniae): Trichiotinus piger

Plant Bugs
Phymatidae: Phymata fasciatus prd

Pollinia Presence Unspecified:

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera fq (Btz, WB); Apidae (Bombinae): Bombus bimaculatus (WB), Bombus griseocallis (Btz, WB), Bombus impatiens (WB), Bombus pensylvanica (WB), Bombus terricola (WB); Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile latimanus (Btz)

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Lasioglossum pectoralis (MH); Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes compactus (Btz)

Wasps
Sphecidae (Bembicinae): Bembix nubilipennis (Btz); Sphecidae (Larrinae): Tachytes aurulenta (Btz); Sphecidae (Philanthinae): Cerceris sp. (WB); Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Prionyx atrata fq (Btz, WB), Sphex ichneumonea (Btz, H, WB), Sphex pensylvanica (Btz); Tiphiidae: Myzinum quinquecincta fq (Btz, WB); Vespidae: Polistes fuscata fq (Btz, WB); Ichneumonidae: Ceratogastra ornata (Btz)

Flies
Tachinidae: Archytas apicifer (WB)

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Danaus plexippus (WB), Junonia coenia (H), Phyciodes tharos (WB), Vanessa cardui (H); Lyacenidae: Everes comyntas (H), Lycaeides melissa samuelis (GP, Sw); Pieridae: Pieris rapae fq (WB)

Moths
Ctenuchidae: Cisseps fulvicollis fq (WB); Noctuidae: Agrotis ipsilon (WB), Anagrapha falcifera (WB), Autographa precationis (WB), Caenurgina sp. (WB); Sesiidae: Melittia cucurbitae (H)

Beetles
Cantharidae: Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus fq (H, WB)

Plant Bugs
Lygaeidae: Lygaeus kalmii (WB)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Faunal Associations

The nectar of the flowers attracts many kinds of insects, including long-tongued bees, short-tongued bees, wasps, flies, butterflies, skippers, and beetles. Among these, bees and wasps are the more effective pollinators. Predatory insects often lurk near the flowers, including Phymata fasciatus (Ambush Bug) and Mantis spp. (Mantids). The caterpillars of the butterfly Danaus plexippes (Monarch) feed on the foliage and flowers. The species Aphis nerii (Yellow Milkweed Aphid) sucks juices from the upper stems and leaves. These aphids often attract ants (which feed on their honeydew), as well as Ladybird Beetles and Green Lacewings (which feed on the aphids themselves). Other insect species that feed on this and other milkweeds can be found in the Insect Table. Mammalian herbivores usually avoid this plant as a food source because of the bitter white latex, which is also poisonous. Whorled Milkweed is among the most poisonous of milkweeds, containing a high concentration of cardiac glycosides. Cattle have been known to poison themselves on this plant, but they rarely eat enough of it to produce fatal results.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Asclepias verticillata

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 8
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N4 - Apparently Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is full sun and dry conditions. The soil can contain significant amounts of loam, sand, or gravel – poor, sterile soil is actually preferred because this reduces competition from taller plants. This plant also grows well in moist to mesic conditions if there is sufficient sunlight. Occasionally, the lower leaves turn yellow and fall off the stem during a drought; this response is normal. Foliar disease is not troublesome. This plant can become aggressive in open sunny areas, and form large colonies quickly.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Average rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Asclepias verticillata

Asclepias verticillata flower cluster.jpg

Asclepias verticillata (whorled milkweed, eastern whorled milkweed, horsetail milkweed) is a species of milkweed native to most all of eastern North America and parts of western Canada and the United States.[1]

Description[edit]

This is a perennial herb with a single stem 1 to 3 feet tall. The very narrow, linear leaves are arranged in whorls. The inflorescence is a cluster of many greenish white flowers.[2]

Ecology[edit]

This species can reproduce vegetatively and does not depend on pollinators, but it does produce some nectar, mostly in the early evening hours. Insect visitors to the plant include wasps, honeybees, and lepidopterans such as moths and the Cabbage White.[3]

The plant is toxic to livestock.[2]

Uses[edit]

It was used as a medicinal plant by Native American peoples. The Choctaw used it to treat snakebite, the Lakota and Hopi used it to increase breast milk in nursing mothers, and the Navajo used it for nose and throat problems.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Asclepias verticillata. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
  2. ^ a b Asclepias verticillata. Native Plant Database. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. University of Texas at Austin. 2013.
  3. ^ Willson, M. F., et al. (1979). Nectar production and flower visitors of Asclepias verticillata. American Midland Naturalist 102(1) 23-35.
  4. ^ Asclepias verticillata. Native American Ethnobotany. University of Michigan, Dearborn.


Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Trusted

Article rating from 1 person

Average rating: 1.0 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!