Asclepias tomentosa

Photographs belong to the photographers who allow use for FNPS purposes only. Please contact the photographer for all other uses.

Velvetleaf Milkweed


Also known as Asclepias megalotis, Asclepias aceratoides

Plant Specifics

Size:2-3 ft.
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Greenish with highlights of pink or maroon
Fruit Color:Green, seeds with tufts of white hair
Phenology:Winter dormant, blooms April-August
Noted for:Showy flowers


Recommended Uses:Wildflower garden, dry wildflower meadow
Availability:Friends, Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales, Seed, Specialty providers
Light: Full Sun
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Not wet but not extremely dry ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods)
Moisture Tolerance: Not wet but not extremely dry ----- to ----- Somewhat long very dry periods
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Unknown
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Unknown
Soil or other substrate:Sand
Soil pH:Moderately acidic to neutral



  • Larval host for monach (Danaus plexippus) , queen (Danaus gilippus) and soldier (Danaus eresimus) butterflies. 
  • Nectar plant for many butterfly species.


Native Habitats:Scrub, sandhill, edges of xeric hammocks, scrubby flatwoods

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
10A 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:

Predominantly a Florida plant, but it has also been recorded in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Texas.

The species name "tomentosa" refers to the dense, matted (tomentose) hairs on the leaves.

Aphids are often a "problem" with milkweed plants -- they are a natural preditor on Asclepias, but we don't like them.