Asclepias meadii Torr. - Mead's Milkweed
Family - Asclepiadaceae
Stems - Glabrous, glaucous, herbaceous, erect, to +/-40cm tall, from a thin rhizome, terete.
Leaves - Opposite, sessile, lanceolate, spreading, to 8cm long, 4cm broad, glabrous (margins sometimes ciliate), entire, acute to acuminate, sometimes with a slightly wavy margin.
Adaxial surface of leaf.
Abaxial surface of leaf.
Inflorescence - Single terminal umbel of +/-15 flowers. Umbel nodding. Pedicels to 2cm long, typically pubescent.
Flowers - Petals 5, greenish or with some purple tinge, to 9mm long, ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, glabrous. Sepals 5, reflexed, green to purplish tinged, to 4mm long, pubescent. Hoods greenish, to 5mm long. Horns arching over and resting upon the anther column.
Flowering - May - June.
Habitat - Prairies and glades.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This striking little species is rare in Missouri and is an endangered species in North America. It can be found in just a handful of Missouri counties. The plant responds well in areas that burn regularly and perhaps bringing fire back into management will help make this species more common. It likes rocky open areas with little competition from larger plants.
Photographs taken at Taum Sauk Mountain, MO., 6-1-03.