Asclepias purpurascens – Purple Milkweed
Very hard to find, flashy Purple Milkweed is uncommon sight in gardens and even in the wild. It looks like Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), but has deep reddish-purple blooms. The flowers have pleasant scent, even to non-pollinators like humans.
Native to low, shady, dry woodlands east of the Mississippi and in Eastern Canada, it grows 2 to 3 feet tall and is hardy in zones 3-8. Sow outside in the fall, or start indoors and cold-stratify for 2-4 weeks. Then plant in a sunny, well-drained spot with ample water or a little shady respite. The gorgeous flowers will appear in late spring or early summer, and last about a month.