genus contains about 140 species with a milky
sap that consists of a type of latex which is
slightly toxic in some species.
They are native to
Eastern North America.
Carl Linnaeus named the genus after the
Greek god of healing, Asclepius.
As the name implies, several species of
Asclepias are the main food supply for
butterflies, specifically for the
monarch butterfly. It is thought that the
recent decline in monarch populations can be
related to the decrease in areas where milkweed