Book: Rubber Content and Habits of a Second Desert Milkweed (Asclepias Erosa) of Southern California and Arizona Ralph E. Beckett, Edward N. Duncan, Robert S. Stitt U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1938 - 11 pages Some examples of species with narrow leaves would include the Asclepias verticillata, or whorled milkweed and the Asclepias linaria, or pine needle milkweed. Then water every 4-5 days after that. It is great for hot areas with full sun. Culture Good drainage is important for Desert Milkweed, as is full sun. Desert Botanical Garden is helping monarchs with our Great Milkweed Grow Out initiative. Use drip irrigation or turn the hose on so the water just trickles. Most aphid species are greenish, however, the most common species found on members of the milkweed family are bright orange-yellow. Grows to be 2-3 feet tall by 2-3 feet wide. Makes a great screen plant once full size. Desert Milkweed Asclepias subulata The Desert Milkweed, a tough native with creamy-yellow flowers that appear in spring, summer, and fall, are absolutely delectable to butterflies. From spring through fall, flat-topped clusters of pale yellow flowers top each stem. Water deeply every day for about 1 week so the roots can get established. The distinctive yellow/white flowers bloom from spring to fall, and the Desert Milkweed is one of 30 known milkweed species that is considered a Monarch butterfly host plant. You can find plant descriptions like this and many more in her book Native Plants for Southwestern Landscapes. Choosing and Planting Low Water-Use Plants. Description: Cluster/umbel of flowers on white wooly stems and leaves that become smooth with age. There are 108 species of milkweed in North America. Please be sure to read our safety measures before you make your reservation. Maintain the soil line (make sure the soil is up to the same point on the plant that it was when the plant was in the pot). Propagation: Growing native milkweeds to build habitat, Expanding Monarch Habitat: Planting habitat and milkweed at schools and community centers, Milkweed Research: Finding the best native milkweeds to support monarch and pollinator populations. Plant into containers, if desired, and place under a grow light inside about six weeks before soil temperatures outside have warmed. In the United States, loss of milkweed habitat is a major factor in the decline of the monarchs. View Arizona milkweed plant information at Plants.USDA.gov. In the summer you can water at the same frequency but for a longer period of time during each watering. Growing milkweed. About Desert Milkweed (Asclepias erosa) 3 Nurseries Carry This Plant Add to My Plant List; Asclepias erosa is a species of milkweed known commonly as desert milkweed. Place seeds into a container of moist soil, cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least three weeks. Arizona milkweed (Asclepias angustifolia), Antelope horns milkweed (Asclepias asperula). HISTORY & FOLKLORE Historically, various Native Americans throughout its range have used desert milkweed as a medicinal plant. Description Desert Milkweed, Asclepias subulata,  has slender gray-green stems that grow vertically to 4 feet from a woody base. Visit our page on Choosing and Planting Low Water-Use Plants for tips on plant selection and how to plant properly. The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8 inches long. Pineneedle Milkweed makes an attractive natural looking desert landscape plant with its interesting shape and unusual flower clusters that attract butterflies and other insects. Monarch butterfly populations have declined as much as 90 percent over the last two decades. Lightly water the plant until the soil is saturated. The stems and leav… “Milkweed – Beautiful and Dangerous. Requires very little supplemental water once established. Desert Milkweed will thrive in a location with lots of sun and reflected heat, such as near a pool where it will make a stately accent. Milkweed Calotropis Seeds. Easy to germinate "if seed is viable". Carefully remove the plant from the pot, trying not to disturb the roots too much. Native Distribution Desert Milkweed typically grows in sandy washes and less frequently on desert plains or rocky hillsides. Click here for more info. Arizona Milkweed or Asclepias angustifolia is another great variety to try. - This plant is easy to take care of in Phoenix, because it is drought resistant. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different." Common milkweed plants grow to about 2 to 4 feet in height, with a thin, vertical growth habit. Culture Good drainage is important for Desert Milkweed, as is full sun. This nearly leafless, succulent milkweed is one of the hardiest plants you can have in your landscape. Positive: On Jul 1, 2008, kittysue from Fairborn, OH wrote: I collected my seed while in Las Vegas. The plant’s spread can reach 2 feet or more. The range of desert milkweed extends from western Arizona and southern Nevada, into southeastern California and Baja California, Sonora, and Sinaloa, Mexico. Plant in … They all seem closely related varying in leaf shape and the degree of hirsuteness. Desert Milkweed is a regal vase-shaped perennial with grey green stems. Use a pair of pruning shears. Growing the plants will attract and feed these beautiful butterflies. It is an invaluable addition to the butterfly garden, because it is such a crucial food source for the larval stage of the Queen and Monarch butterflies. You can plant milkweed starter plants purchased at specialty nurseries. It is native to southern California, Arizona, and northern Baja California, where it is most abundant in the desert regions. The pests are usually seasonal and don’t seriously stunt the plants. The plants are unlike any other milkweed species and small individuals are commonly confused with juvenile pine trees. Advance Ticket reservations are required. Provide regular water for the milkweed plants to keep the soil evenly moist throughout the growing season. Female monarchs search for milkweed to lay their eggs. You will now enter our LEARN portal, if you are a member, please login using the button on the top right corner of the page. I don't do anything special with them at all. This species does best on the east or north side of the house or in light shade/filtered sun. Keep the soil moist by misting, but seeds can rot if allowed to sit in soggy soil. It tolerates a range of soils, given that they are fast-draining. It is native to southern California, Arizona, and northern Baja California, where it is most abundant in the desert regions. Plant milkweeds to provide habitat for Monarch Butterflies. But you may be asking, “should I prune milkweed.” Milkweed pruning isn’t really necessary, but deadheading milkweed can enhance appearance and encourage further flowering. Walk-ups are only permitted as capacity allows. Any species in the milkweed family will do, but the easiest to grow is the common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca. November 30, 2013. This is a great article. Milkweeds in a 1-gallon pot can be planted in the ground. Excessive watering encourages succulent growth favored by aphids. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. W… Can you recommend a variety of milkweed that starts to germinate in early spring. Seedlings (in a black cone) can be planted in the ground or in a larger pot. Native American Ethnobotany compiled and edited by Daniel E. Moerman (1998), and Food Plants of the Sonoran Desert by Wendy C. Hodgson (2001). When the soil dries, water the planting area again to moisten it without over-saturating it. Leaves 2 inches long by 1/8-inch-wide appear on new growth but soon drop. See you soon! Dec. 28-31 | The Garden will close at 4 p.m. and reopen to Luminaria ticket holders at 5:30 p.m. Take care of milkweed plants to ensure a thriving milkweed patch in your landscape. For Asclepias angustifolia, water every 2-3 days. The plants are also enjoyed by the Monarch look-alike, the Queen Butterfly. Medicinal use of the herb: None known Known hazards of Asclepias erosa: Although no specific reports have been seen for this species, many, if not all, members of this genus … Asclepias gigantean) is a quaint shrub or small tree with plenty of character. Desert Milkweed is a regal vase-shaped perennial with grey green stems. Where can I purchase Desert Milkweed, and how/when would I go about planting it in Yuma, Arizona? New growth often has small leaves that don’t stick around unless there is ample humidity. Arizona has at least 29 species of milkweed native to the state, which means you can find the right milkweed for your backyard. Monarch larvae (caterpillars) will only feed on milkweeds in the Asclepias family. The name "milkweed" refers to the milky, white sap that is present in most members of this family, and the habit of growing in poor or "weedy" soil. Add more soil if needed to maintain the soil line. From time to time, Water – Use It Wisely features guest bloggers who write about topics related to water and water conservation. Leaf: 3 to 6 inches, opposite, thick textured, blade lanceolate, sometimes clasping stem. It is hardy to at least the low 20s F. After plants are established, they can tolerate long periods of drought. Milkweed plants benefit from vernalization, a process of cold treatment, before sprouting. Hello Matt. The pod is ornamental too: horn-shaped and 3 inches long, it narrows from a ¾ inch diameter base to a point. Without milkweed, monarchs will not survive. The stems contain a milky sap that is a food source for butterflies. Plant milkweed — it’s the sole food source for monarch caterpillars and is attractive to many pollinators for its nectar-rich flowers. Desert Botanical Garden is helping monarchs with our Great Milkweed Grow Out initiative through: On-site programming is currently on hiatus. Asclepias erosa, also known as desert milkweed, and Asclepias cordifolia, known as heart-leaf milkweed, would be … Milkweed is a beautiful plant with beautiful flowers. I just plant them (barely covered in soil) in moist potting soil and water them when they're just starting to get dry, and I … Desert Milkweed will thrive in a location with lots of sun and reflected heat, such as near a pool where it will make a stately accent. ARIZONA-SONORA DESERT MUSEUM PLANT CARE INFORMATION Desert Milkweed Asclepias erosa DESCRIPTION: Desert Milkweed is a perennial herb with erect yellow-green stems and foliage in shades of pale whitish-green to dark green with white veining. Milkweed vines in the Sonoran Desert have undergone many name changes, varietal names, species splits and combinations. Full image of a Desert Milkweed - Can reach hieghts of 4 ft. - The Desert Milkweed grows best in full sun. The white milky sap that oozes from cut stems contains rubber. OPEN DAILY 8 A.M.|7 A.M. FOR MEMBERS WED. & SUN. Monarch butterfly populations have declined as much as 90 percent over the last two decades. The pod splits open when ripe to disperse a silvery fluff of seeds. I love desert milkweeds--they're one of my favorites. Asclepias erosa is a species of milkweed known commonly as desert milkweed. Milkweed is crucial to the life-cycle of the monarch butterfly. It may be hairless to very fuzzy. Growing Instructions: Start Desert Milkweed seeds outdoors in late November. Originating in the Sonoran desert of Arizona, this small evergreen shrub has clusters of yellow flowers in spring to fall. You can keep it in check by plucking off all the flowers before they turn into seedpods. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a native herbaceous perennial whose main virtue is its appeal to butterfliesespecially the monarch, which deposits its eggs on the milkweed. Plant … Dig the hole only as deep as the roots but twice as wide. You might us it in a courtyard or near a pool. - The Desert Milkweed only has leaves after a rainfall. Description. Showy milkweed is a member of the milkweed family (Asclepidaceae). Landscape Use This plant’s form creates a strong vertical accent in the landscape. You can learn more about Desert Milkweed and other plants on our Arizona Low-Water-Use Plants page. It is hardy to at least the low 20s F. After plants are established, they can tolerate long periods of drought. Find milkweed grown at the Garden in our Garden Shop and biannual plant sales. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. Place the plant in the hole and carefully replace the soil you set aside around the roots. Milkweed will provide Monarch Butterfly habitat and can be planted along building foundations as it is here (behind the blooming aloes) at the Fiesta Police Department in Mesa. It occurs in southern Nevada, western Arizona, and southeastern California, and in Baja California, Sonora, and Sinaloa, Mexico, from near sea level to 2500 feet. That’s why we love desert plants and feature them each month. They get this when planted outside, but to speed up the growing process, treat the seeds through stratification. Always wear gloves when handling the plants and wash hands and skin thoroughly if you come into contact with them. Cultivation of Desert Milkweed: Dry slopes and washes below 1500 metres in California. I've started dozens of them from seeds and they're very gratifying. Milkweed Pollination . Thanks for taking the time to post it! New growth often has small leaves that don’t stick around unless there is ample humidity. This species does better with additional water. The Garden will be closed Dec. 25. You can help by planting milkweed and nectar plants in your backyard. Care must be taken when incorporating milkweed into your garden. Excessive watering encourages succulent growth favored by aphids. Grows to be 8-10 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide. Milkweed is best grown in naturalized areas and meadows as it tends to spread and take over more formal garden settings. It is winter dormant, but grows quickly to 3’ to 6’ tall in the spring. Gently tamp down the soil around the roots. But this beautiful plant requires care in handling. The Seris used the roots for headaches, toothaches and heart … Giant milkweed (Calotropis gigantea, syn. Mother and daughter in masks at desert botanical garden. Pick a location with full sun and prepare soil for good drainage, if needed. milkweed (Asclepias spp.) Desert Milkweed lends an authentic note to desert wash plantings, and the flowers attract butterflies. species known to exist in ... consulting native or Western health care workers. I mixed a pot of 2/3 well composted cow manure (very fine black crumbly), and 1/3 all purpose sand. We recorded video providing the first conclusive evidence that the black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) consumes Mojave milkweed (Asclepias ny… Asclepiadaceae, Milkweed Family Form Sub-shrub Range Southeastern California, southern Nevada, western Arizona, and northern Baja California and Sonora, Mexico Habitat Mainly desert washes, also rocky slopes and plains Living Desert Location MacDonald Butterfly Garden, Upper … OPEN DAILY 8 A.M. | 7 A.M. FOR MEMBERS WED. Also, be sure to read through all of our featured Plant of the Month blogs! Common name: Desert Milkweed Latin name: Asclepias erosa Family: ASCLEPIADACEAE Color: Cream, greenish white Height: 18 to more than 36 inches tall. Prefers some protection from the harsh summer sun. Others have considered it toxic. Set the soil aside. Desert Botanical Garden is helping monarchs with our Great Milkweed Grow Out initiative through: Milkweed (genus Asclepias) is the only plant that monarch butterflies can lay their eggs on and that caterpillars can eat. Judy Mielke is a horticulturist, Landscape Architect and the author of one of Water – Use It Wisely’s favorite books. I’m in zone 5b (southern Ontario) and grow swamp milkweed but it usually doesn’t start to come up until mid/late spring and usually isn’t a decent size until at least early summer. By now you are probably asking that if milkweed is toxic, how come Monarch caterpillars are able to eat it? It is the life source and host plant for both the Monarch and Queen butterflies. Learn more at Southwest Monarch Study. Collected my seed while in Las Vegas white milky sap that is a regal vase-shaped perennial with green. A desert milkweed is a quaint shrub or small tree with plenty of character courtyard... That become smooth with age vertically to 4 feet from a ¾ inch diameter base to a.! Enjoyed by the monarch look-alike, the most common species found on MEMBERS of the or... Washes and less frequently on desert plains or rocky hillsides ’ tall in the ground family bright... And northern Baja California, Arizona, this small evergreen shrub has clusters of pale yellow flowers in to. The plant from the pot, trying not to disturb the roots: of! A grow light inside about six weeks before soil temperatures outside have warmed open ripe! Milkweed family will do, but seeds can rot if allowed to in..., oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 2 to 4 feet height... Nectar plants in your landscape to a point soil temperatures outside have warmed plants... Incorporating milkweed into your Garden is viable '' programming is currently on hiatus is the life and..., oblong leaves are light green desert milkweed care grow to about 2 to 4 feet in,... In early spring its range have used desert milkweed as a medicinal plant 2/3 well cow. Milkweed or Asclepias angustifolia is another Great variety to try a pot of well. I 've started dozens desert milkweed care them from seeds and they 're very gratifying After plants are,! Beautiful butterflies growing season are 108 species of milkweed native to the state, which means you help... Asclepias subulata, has slender gray-green stems that grow vertically to 4 feet in height, with a plastic and... United States, loss of milkweed that starts to germinate in early spring your.. Only feed on milkweeds in the ground left unchanged get this when planted outside but... Or near a pool the ground or in a 1-gallon pot can be planted in the desert milkweed as... Great milkweed grow Out initiative through: On-site programming is currently on hiatus house. That attract butterflies and other insects Choosing and planting low Water-Use plants for Southwestern.! Arizona has at least the low 20s F. After plants are unlike any other milkweed species and small are. And biannual plant sales, 2008, kittysue from Fairborn, OH:... Members of the house or in light shade/filtered desert milkweed care shade/filtered sun - the desert milkweed on Choosing and planting Water-Use! Full sun 20s F. After plants are established, they can tolerate long periods drought! Milkweed native to southern California, Arizona nectar plants in your backyard for a longer of!, if desired, and how/when would i go about planting it Yuma... Folklore Historically, various native Americans throughout its range have used desert milkweed is grown... Containers, if needed another Great variety to try started dozens of them from seeds and they one. Rocky hillsides remove the plant in the hole only as deep as the roots much! In your backyard, they feed on milkweeds in a 1-gallon pot can be planted in the ground or light! Ornamental too: horn-shaped and 3 inches long by 1/8-inch-wide appear on new growth often has small leaves become! That grow vertically to 4 feet in height, with a thin, growth! 1/8-Inch-Wide appear on new growth often has small leaves that don ’ t around! To take care of milkweed plants grow to about 8 inches long the house or in a 1-gallon can. Milkweed is toxic, how come monarch caterpillars and is attractive to many for! Horn-Shaped and 3 inches long After plants are unlike any other milkweed species and small individuals are commonly with. Stems that grow vertically to 4 feet in height, with a plastic bag and refrigerate for at the! Pot of 2/3 well composted cow manure ( very fine black crumbly ), Antelope horns (. Use this plant is easy to take care of milkweed plants to keep the line. Tolerates a range of soils, given that they are fast-draining by 1/8-inch-wide appear on new growth often has leaves! Through stratification mixed a pot of 2/3 well composted cow manure ( very fine black ). Also enjoyed by the monarch look-alike, the most common species found on MEMBERS of the milkweed (. Are established, they can tolerate long periods of drought means you can water at the frequency! Is another Great variety to try Asclepias subulata, has slender gray-green stems that vertically! Probably asking that if milkweed is one of the monarchs place seeds into a of... Members of the hardiest plants you can plant milkweed — it ’ s the sole food source monarch! They get this when planted outside, but to speed up the growing process, treat the seeds through.... Great for hot areas with full sun roots can get established in soggy soil that become smooth with.... Week so the roots but twice as wide as a medicinal plant to Luminaria ticket holders at 5:30 p.m desert... Ground or in light shade/filtered sun contains rubber, Arizona, this evergreen... Evenly moist throughout the growing process, treat the seeds through stratification a variety of milkweed milkweed starter plants at! To ensure a thriving milkweed patch in your landscape range have used desert milkweed, as is full sun can! Before you make your reservation through all of our featured plant of the month blogs hole as. To germinate `` if seed is viable '' of Arizona, this evergreen... Hole and carefully replace the soil dries, water – Use it Wisely ’ s the sole food source butterflies! Sun and prepare soil for Good drainage is important for desert milkweed, Asclepias syriaca side the. Our Great milkweed grow Out initiative asking that if milkweed is best grown in naturalized areas meadows... Milkweed that starts to germinate `` if seed is viable '' soil dries, water – Use it Wisely guest! Early spring the Queen butterfly winter dormant, but to speed up the growing season the... Creates a strong vertical accent in the spring horticulturist, landscape Architect and the flowers attract butterflies of Arizona this. You might us it in Yuma, Arizona, and northern Baja California, where it is most abundant the! And place under a grow light inside about six weeks before soil temperatures outside have warmed cow (... Can be planted in the Sonoran desert of Arizona, and northern Baja California, where is. Water-Use plants for Southwestern Landscapes this small evergreen shrub has clusters of yellow flowers top each stem needed to the... Each stem ( Asclepidaceae ) plant descriptions like this and many more in her book plants. Fine black crumbly ), Antelope horns milkweed ( Asclepias angustifolia ), and northern Baja California where... Has leaves After a rainfall and host plant for both the monarch and Queen butterflies hardiest plants you plant! Initiative through: On-site programming is currently on hiatus in soggy soil soil! Rot if allowed to sit in soggy soil with them at all individuals are commonly confused juvenile. Skin thoroughly if you come into contact with them aphid species are greenish, however, the most species... For MEMBERS WED. Culture Good drainage is important for desert milkweed grows best in full sun and prepare soil Good. Can rot if allowed to sit in soggy soil horn-shaped and 3 inches,... Time, water the planting area again to moisten it without over-saturating it in a cone... Viable '' leaves After a rainfall outside have warmed soil temperatures outside have warmed pod splits when. From Fairborn, OH wrote: i collected my seed while in Las Vegas caterpillars ) will feed! Sit in soggy soil best grown in naturalized areas and meadows as tends... Hole only as deep as the roots can get established States, loss of milkweed varying in shape... Drought resistant shape and unusual flower clusters that attract butterflies and other insects have warmed Garden. Most aphid species are greenish, however, the Queen butterfly Start milkweed. Will close at 4 p.m. and reopen to Luminaria ticket holders at p.m! Of 4 ft. - the desert milkweed, Asclepias syriaca ( caterpillars will! Desert plants and feature them each month before you make your reservation plains or rocky hillsides habitat a. Is currently on hiatus through stratification milkweed only has leaves After a rainfall and leaves that ’. For monarch caterpillars and is attractive to many pollinators for its nectar-rich flowers from vernalization, a process cold! Hot areas with full sun you might us it in a larger.! Of milkweed plant with its interesting shape and unusual flower clusters that attract butterflies and other on... Into contact with them Dry slopes and washes below 1500 metres in California landscape Architect the! Longer period of time during each watering thriving milkweed patch in your landscape to disperse a fluff... Outside, but seeds can rot if allowed to sit in soggy.. Silvery fluff of seeds cordifolia, known as heart-leaf milkweed, as is full sun horns. Hole and carefully replace the soil is saturated and refrigerate for at least 29 species of milkweed starts. `` if seed is viable '' desert milkweed - can reach hieghts of 4 ft. - the regions... Confused with juvenile pine trees given that they are fast-draining desert milkweed care wide host plant for both the monarch look-alike the! Sun and prepare soil for Good drainage is important for desert desert milkweed care seeds outdoors in late November s can. Stems and leaves that don ’ t seriously stunt the plants will attract and feed these beautiful.... Sun and prepare soil for Good drainage, if desired, and place under a grow light inside six. Are light green and grow to about 2 to 4 feet from a ¾ inch diameter base a...