Common milkweed is a native herbaceous perennial whose main virtue is its appeal to butterflies—especially the monarch, which deposits its eggs on the milkweed. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. Common milkweed plants grow to about 2-4' in height, with a thin, vertical growth habit. The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8" long. The stems and leaves bleed a milky sap when cut, which gives the plant its name. In late spring to mid-summer, fragrant clusters of pink-purple flowers appear.