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Narrow Leaf Milkweed
Asclepias fascicularis
  
About Narrow Leaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) 101 Nurseries Carry This Plant Narrowleaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) is a flowering perennial. It sends up many thin, erect stems that bear distinctive long pointed leaves, which are very narrow and often whorled about the stem, giving the plant one of its other common names, Mexican Whorled Milkweed.

It blooms in clusters of lavender, lavender-tinted or pinkish white flowers which have five reflexed lobes that extend down away from the blossom. The fruits are smooth milkweed pods, which split open to spill seeds along with plentiful silky hairs that may carry the seeds through the air. This plant is common in the western United States.

Milkweeds in general are the larval host plants for Monarch Butterflies, and this species is probably the single most important host plant for Monarch Butterflies in California. Milkweed gardeners should be prepared for the plant to be eaten by Monarch caterpillars but will be rewarded by the presence of beautiful Monarch Butterflies. The plant is deciduous in winter and will sometimes die back to the ground before reviving in the spring, and is often covered with aphids, so often best to plant in less prominent spots in a garden.

It's very easy to grow in soils with good drainage, even with no summer water.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Size
Size
1.7 - 3.3 ft tall
1 ft wide

Dormancy
Dormancy
Winter Deciduous

Flower Color
Flower Color
Lavender, Pink, White

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Summer, Fall

Wildlife Supported
 
Butterflies, primarily Monarchs

 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 2 confirmed , 4 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Low, Moderate - High

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 2x / month once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 5° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Fast, Medium, Slow

Soil Description
Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils including sandy, clay and saline. Tolerates Saline Soil. Soil PH: 6.0 - 8.0

Common uses
Common uses
Butterfly Gardens, Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens

Companion Plants
Companion Plants
Works well with a wide variety of other plants but is best located where its winter leaf loss and summer consumption by caterpillars will not be the center of attention. Also, plant a number of Milkweeds in proximity so caterpillars will have sufficient amounts to eat. Use with showy, nectar-rich plants that will also attract adult Monarchs, such as Indian Mallow (Abutilon palmeri), Ceanothus species, Western Thistle (Cersium occidentale), California Aster (Corethrogyne filaginifolia), California Fuchsia (Epilobium canum), Buckwheat (Eriogonum spp.), Mint (Monardella species), Monkeyflower (Mimulus species), Penstemon spp., Sages (Salvia species), Apricot Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua).

Maintenance
Maintenance
It is crucial to not use any pesticide on this plant or in its vicinity, because doing so will be fatal to Monarch caterpillars.

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: No treatment. Seeds need light to germinate, so just gently press them into the soil on their sides without burying them. Keep soil moist. Some seeds germinate in as little as 2 weeks after planting, but others in the same bed may continue to germinate for 1 to 2 months after that.

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
3*, 7*, 8*, 9*, 10, 14*, 15*, 16, 17, 18*, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Found in many settings including valleys, foothills, canyons, mountains, often dry areas, occasionally in wetlands

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 3.8" - 117.4", Summer Precipitation: 0.13" - 3.60", Coldest Month: 23.0" - 59.2", Hottest Month: 42.6" - 87.9", Humidity: 0.47" - 40.28", Elevation: -180" - 11144"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Mexican Whorled Milkweed, Narrow-leaf Milkweed, Narrow-leaved Milkweed, Narrowleaf Milkweed


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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