Common milkweed gets its family name “Asclepiadaceae” from the Greek god of medicine, Asklepios, because milkweed species were used in medicine. Common milkweed was used to treat warts and lung illnesses. Their species name “syriaca” means from Syria but it is native to the America . It was first thought to be native to Syria not America. The common name milkweed came about because it has a milky looking latex that comes out of the leaves and stems when broken.
It can be found in the eastern two thirds of the United States along roadsides, fence lines and in open fields. It likes full sun but will live in part shade. Common milkweed grows to five feet tall and has a bunch of clusters of blossoms, 2 to 5, per stem. The blossoms range in color from a greenish pink, a rose pink, or a purplish pink
Common milkweed plaid an important role in Native Americans and early Americans medicine treatments but it is not recommended to be used today because it is considered to be toxic and could be dangerous to use. Today it is used commercially in comforters and pillows.
The biggest benefit of common milkweed is that it feeds over 450 insects in some way. It attracts bees, beetles, ants wasps, and butterflies as well as other insects. It is an important food supply for the larva of the Monarch butterfly and other butterflies that are in a decline in numbers right now. Scientists are asking people to grow common milkweeds where they have the extra land and can afford it. This will help the monarch to grow and increase their chance to grow.