Asclepias quadrifolia is a perennial herb to 50 cm tall, stems slender, mostly unbranched, sap milky, lower stem leafless, upper stem usually with 3 leaf-bearing nodes.
Leaves of upper and lower nodes opposite, small, middle node with a whorl of four, much larger leaves, blades thin, to 12 cm long, lance to egg-shaped, tip long-pointed, base wedge-shaped.
Flowers radially symmetrical, petal lobes pale pink to 0.6 cm, hoods white (see Asclepias Genus); inflorescence of umbrella-shaped clusters; June-July.
Fruit dry, a pod filled with plumed seeds, very slender, to 12 cm long tapered at both ends, held erect on unbent stalks.
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Dry, open woods.