milk·​weed | \ ˈmilk-ˌwēd \

Definition of milkweed

: any of various plants that secrete latex especially : any of a genus (Asclepias of the family Asclepiadaceae, the milkweed family) of erect chiefly perennial herbs with milky juice and umbellate flowers

Illustration of milkweed

Illustration of milkweed

Examples of milkweed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Anything in the Asclepias genus will feed the monarch’s caterpillars, which badly need the food in the large, milkweed-depauperate migration states of the Midwest. Molly Marquand, Good Housekeeping, "15 Native Wildflowers Every Gardener Should Plant," 5 May 2017 The garden of milkweed, coneflowers and other wildflowers has to be weeded and watered. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Frustrated environmental-committee members resign. Now Hales Corners fruit and nut orchard is at risk," 18 June 2018 Presentation on milkweeds and an update on the status of the monarch butterfly, followed by a tour of the Monarch Trail. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A listing of home and garden events for the Milwaukee area (Summer 2018 edition)," 4 July 2018 For example, monarchs are typically drawn to milkweeds, which are easily accessible from local nurseries. Kendra Parks,, "Master gardeners celebrate the tricentennial and bring native plants back to New Orleans," 24 May 2018 When to sow milkweed seeds Milkweeds are also easy to propagate from seeds. Anna Groves, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "They're beautiful — and in danger. Now, a huge effort focuses on saving monarch butterflies," 13 July 2018 Pietrzak said another example is in the news about declining numbers of monarch butterflies is also due to the decline of native milkweed. Frank Vaisvilas, Daily Southtown, "Fellow volunteers honor memory of Hickory Hills man who launched forest preserve restoration efforts," 11 June 2018 Experts link the loss of milkweed to the dramatic decline in the monarch population – nearly 90 percent in the past two decades. Melina Zuñiga, azcentral, "Got milkweed? Desert Botanical Garden's program could help save Monarch butterflies," 9 June 2018 In terms of nectar sources, the tropical milkweed is producing its orange and yellow flowers for their use and our appreciation. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "What’s blooming in S.A. gardens now in April," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'milkweed.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of milkweed

circa 1592, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for milkweed

Last Updated

29 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for milkweed

The first known use of milkweed was circa 1592

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More Definitions for milkweed



English Language Learners Definition of milkweed

: a type of North American plant that has white juice


milk·​weed | \ ˈmilk-ˌwēd \

Kids Definition of milkweed

: a plant with milky juice and clusters of flowers


milk·​weed | \ ˈmilk-ˌwēd \

Medical Definition of milkweed

: any of various plants that secrete latex especially : any plant of the genus Asclepias (family Asclepiadaceae, the milkweed family) including several whose dried roots were formerly used medicinally

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More from Merriam-Webster on milkweed

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with milkweed

Spanish Central: Translation of milkweed

Nglish: Translation of milkweed for Spanish Speakers

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