This paper summarizes all aspects about Asclepias syriaca L. (Apocynaceae), including taxonomy, introduction and distribution, ecology and biology, biodiversity and agricultural implications, and management. Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) is a perennial plant native to North America.
The species was introduced to Europe as a garden and ornamental plant, fiber plant, and bee pasture. The plant is established in many regions in Europe and has become increasingly widespread in recent decades (>1980s). Asclepias syriaca occurs mainly in anthropogenic and (semi-)natural habitats (roadsides, croplands, fallows, forest edges, open forests). Studies have already shown negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem processes. Asclepias syriacaalso occurs as a competitive weed in various agricultural crops. Since 2017, the species is on the list of invasive alien species of Union-wide concern. Effective direct control options include mechanical control and herbicide application.
Original publication: Monograph of invasive plants in Europe N°6: Asclepias syriaca L.