COMMON MILKWEED, Asclepias syriaca L. 1, lower part of stem and rootstock; 2, upper part of stem with flower clusters and seed pods; 3, single flower; 4, seed. Perennial, reproducing by seed and from rootstocks. Stems stout and erect, 2 to 5 feet (0.6 to 1.5 m) tall, covered with short downy hairs, with milky juice. Leaves opposite, oblong, rounded, 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm) long with prominent veins. Upper surface smooth, lower surfaces covered with short white hairs. Flowers sweet-smelling, pink to white, in large, many-flowered, ball-like clusters at the tips of stems and in the axils of upper leaves. Seed pod grayish, hairy, covered with soft spiny projections. Seed brown, flat, oval, with a tuft of silky, white hairs attached to tip. Found in cultivated fields, pastures, open woods and roadsides.