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Mead's Milkweed

Photo by Bob Gress
used by permission

 

Common Name: Mead's Milkweed

Scientific Name: Asclepias meadii

Federal Status:
Threatened

State Status:
None

 

Range:

Dark Green = Current county records
Light Green = Historical records

Comments: Most milkweeds need large insects for pollination and Mead’s milkweed is no exception. Bumblebees are the essential pollinators in the life cycle of this plant. Found in moist, open prairies with silty loam soils, Mead’s milkweed responds well to periodic burning as fire stimulates growth and flowering. Flower production is sporadic during drought conditions. The underground rhizomes allow the plant to survive in harvested hay meadows but moderate to heavy grazing pressure can eliminate it from a site. The greenish-cream flower cluster occurs on a drooping umbrella-shaped flower head called an umbel. These plants are difficult to find even when in bloom. There are approximately 100 sites in eastern Kansas where Mead’s milkweed can be found which represents the majority of the global population.