Endangered Species
Midwest Region



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Mead's milkweed in flower.

Photo by Mike Redmer


Status: Threatened, listed September 1, 1988


Habitat: Prairies and rhyolite glades in Missouri


Range: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin


Lead Region: 3


Region 3 Lead Office: Chicago, Illinois Field Office


Mead's milkweed

(Asclepias meadii)


Mead’s milkweed is a perennial plant of the tallgrass prairies. It was listed as threatened in 1988. This milkweed formerly occurred throughout the eastern tallgrass prairie region of the central United States, from Kansas through Missouri and Illinois and north to southern Iowa and northwest Indiana. It currently is known from 171 sites in 34 counties in eastern Kansas, Missouri, south-central Iowa, and southern Illinois. Although extirpated from Indiana and Wisconsin it has been reintroduced in both states. Recovery actions include land management for existing populations and reintroductions.


Mead's Milkweed Life History, Ecology, and Regulatory Information

USFWS Fact sheet


USFWS Chicago Field Office's Species Spotlight


Species Profile


An Adaptive Decision Framework for the Conservation of a Threatened Plant. A technical journal article in the Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management: December 2011, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 247-261.


Management and Restoration Ecology of the Federally-threatened Mead's Milkweed (1998) - M. L. Bowles, J. L. MCBride and R.F. Betz (16-page PDF)


Mead's Milkweed Recovery

Mead's Milkweed 5-Year Review - November 2012 (52-page PDF; 475KB)


University of Kansas Field Station Population Dynamics studies


Private Stewardship Grant (May 2007): Southern Iowa Oak Savanna and Grand River Grassland Cooperative Restoration Initiative – Clarke, Decatur and Lucas Counties, Iowa; Ringgold County, Missouri – ($193,625*)


Mead's Milkweed Recovery Plan (PDF 1.2MB; 131 pages)


Federal Register Notice of Availability - Approved Recovery Plan for the Mead’s Milkweed (Asclepias meadii) September 22, 2003


News Release U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Releases Recovery Plan for the Mead's Milkweed - September 22, 2003


Listed Plants

Midwest Endangered Species Home


Last updated: October 15, 2015