Global Unique Identifier:
Date Last Modified:
Basis Of Record:
Asclepias tuberosa L.
Scientific Name Author:
State or Province:
Ft. Leavenworth Military Reservation; Training Unit 4. Upland, tallgrass prairie S of Morris Hill.
Associated Plant Community:
Craig C. Freeman
Craig C. Freeman
Kansas Wildflowers Database, Kansas Biological Survey, University of Kansas
Genus Name Meaning:
Named for Asklepios, Greek god of medicine
Species Name Meaning:
having swellings or knots referring to roots
Plant life form: Perennial
Height: 3-9 dm
Species description: Flower color ranges from a deep red-orange to yellow. Flowers bloom from May to August.
"Species description: Erect perennial herb with few to several stems branching only in the inflorescence. Leaves are simple and mostly alternate. The stems and leaves are covered with long, soft hairs."
Range in Kansas: Eastern two-thirds of the state.
"Edible uses: Roots can be boiled and eaten; young shoots cooked like asparagus. Young seed pods can be cooked. Flowers can be boiled to make syrup. In hot summers, nectar crystallizes into small lumps; can be eaten like candy."
"Medicinal Uses: Root most commonly used for bronchial and pulmonary problems and pleurisy, since it contains a vagus nerve stimulant which causes expectoration and bronchial dilation. Tea made from roots used to induce vomiting, as a laxative, and for internal bleeding."
Other uses: Fibers from stems can be used in twine or clothing. Seed fibers can be used to stuff pillows or combined with other materials to make cloth. Seed fibers used in life jackets because of water-repellent ability.
Notes: Flowers attract butterflies and other insects.
Warnings: POISONOUS--Large quantities can cause vomiting and diarrhea and can be poisonous. Poisonous to livestock.
"Cultivation: Drought-tolerant. Grows best in poor, dry, sandy or gravelly soil in full sun."
"Propagation: Seed--plant in fall, may take 2-3 years to bloom. May self-seed. Division--not very successful. Cuttings--basal shoots taken in late spring."