Milkweeds (so named for their milky sap) are the best-known representatives of this group of plants. Bloom in summer, typically bearing many small, starlike flowers in broad, flattened clusters at branch tips. All have inflated seedpods with silky seeds. Just a few species are cultivated in gardens.Asclepias speciosa
Native to western and central North America. This striking perennialgrows 2–4 ft. tall and not quite as wide; may spread by underground stems to form colonies. Thick, upright stems hold big,softly hairy leaves of gray; summer flowers are 3-in.-wide balls of fragrant, purplish pink. Long winter dormancy; new shootsmay not appear until midspring. Needs only occasional wateronce established.
Pinkish purple flowers held on weeping, contorted branches; best with afternoon shade.
Lavenderflowers precede foliage thatopens pink, matures to limeand gold, then shades to green.
Native to Central America, West Indies. Easy-to-grow, dependable plants that bloom in summer and fall;...