Focus on Flora
Browse through a few of our Canadian species in these "At-A-Glance" fact sheets. Each page has basic information on some of our Canadian wildlife, with links to detailed, reputable sources such as Hinterland Who's Who and the Government of Canada. Don't see a species you need? Comments or questions? Let us know!
MilkweedMilkweeds are a large group of plants with heights anywhere from 20 to 180 centimetres (0.5 foot to 6 feet) and flowers that range from white and greenish to pale pink and deep magenta.
Some shared traits of Canada’s milkweeds, however, are a large round or flat cluster of late spring or summer-blooming flowers. Their petals fold backwards on the stem and the centre of the flower is comprised of five hood-like structures within which is a protruding ‘horn’ as well as the plant’s nectar. Their leaves and stems typically have a milky sap, hence their name, Milkweed. Ripe milkweed seed pods are elongated and, once hardened, open with a slit along one side to reveal many brown seeds attached to thin silky white fibres that fluff up to catch the wind and carry their seeds farther afield.
Many species have thick wide oval shaped leaves arranged oppositely along the stem although some have slightly or extremely narrow leaves as well as have an alternate or whorled arrangement on the stem. They are all generally pointy to some degree at both ends.
For a breakdown of Canada’s milkweed species, see below.