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Desert Milkweed
Asclepias erosa
About Desert Milkweed (Asclepias erosa) 6 Nurseries Carry This Plant Asclepias erosa is a species of milkweed known commonly as desert milkweed. It is native to southern California, Arizona, and northern Baja California, where it is most abundant in the desert regions. This milkweed is a perennial herb with erect yellow-green stems and foliage in shades of pale whitish-green to dark green with white veining. It may be hairless to very fuzzy. The sturdy, pointed leaves grow opposite on the stout stem. Atop the stem is a rounded umbel of yellowish or cream-colored flowers. Each flower has thick, reflexed corollas beneath a flower center composed of rounded, horned filaments. The plant is filled with a viscous sap that was roasted to a solid and enjoyed as a sort of chewing gum by local Native American groups.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Flower Color
Flower Color
Cream, Yellow

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring, Summer, Fall

Wildlife Supported

Butterflies & moths hosted ( 2 confirmed , 2 likely * ) SHOW ALL
Danaus plexippus Image
Monarch Danaus plexippusDanaus plexippus
Danaus gilippus Image
Queen Danaus gilippusDanaus gilippus
Euchaetes zella Image
Euchaetes zellaEuchaetes zella

Landscaping Information
Full Sun


Common uses
Common uses
Butterfly Gardens, Bird Gardens

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Dry slopes, washes

Annual Precipitation: 2.9" - 33.7", Summer Precipitation: 0.16" - 2.81", Coldest Month: 34.2" - 60.4", Hottest Month: 64.3" - 88.8", Humidity: 2.00" - 40.98", Elevation: -64" - 6082"

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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