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19 milkweed native to California


1
Showy milkweed is native to much of the western half of North America. In California it is found in the Sierras and Coast Ranges, from Tulare County to Modoc and Siskiyou Counties. This flowering plant is a hairy, erect perennial that grows to about 4 feet tall. The large, pointed, banana-like leaves are arranged opposite on the stalk-like stem. The fragrant eye-catching furry pale pink to pinkish-purple flowers are arranged in thick umbels. Their petal structure is reflexed and the central flow...
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2
Narrowleaf milkweed or Mexican whorled milkweed is a flowering perennial sending up many thin, erect stems and bearing distinctive long pointed leaves which are very narrow and often whorled about the stem, giving the plant its common names. It blooms in clusters of lavender or lavender-tinted 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. This plant is comm...
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3
Asclepias eriocarpa is a species in the Apocynaceae (Dogbane) family known by several common names. It is native to California and adjacent parts of Nevada and Baja California, where it grows in many habitat types, especially dry areas. In California it is found primarily in the Coast Ranges from Mendocino County southward into Mexico, in the Sierra foothills, and in the northern part of the Central Valley. It is an erect perennial herb which is usually coated in a thick layer of white hairs. Th...
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4
Asclepias cordifolia is a species of milkweed commonly called Heart-leaf milkweed or Purple milkweed (not to be confused with Asclepias purpurascens, also commonly called Purple milkweed). It is native to the western United States (California, Nevada, Oregon), growing between 50-2000 meter elevation in the northern Sierra and Cascade ranges. Heart-leaf milkweed was valued by the Native American Miwok for its stems, which they dried and processed into cordage (string and rope). Monarch butterfly ...
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5
Asclepias subulata is a species of milkweed known commonly as the rush milkweed or ajamete. This is an erect perennial herb which loses its leaves early in the season and stands as a cluster of naked stalks. Atop the stems are flower clusters of distinctive flowers. Each cream-white flower has a reflexed corolla that reveals the inner parts, a network of five shiny columns, each topped with a tiny hook. The fruit is a pouchlike follicle that contains many flat, oval seeds with long, silky hairli...
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6
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 ...
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7
Asclepias asperula is a species of milkweed native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Its common names include antelope horns, green-flowered milkweed, and spider antelope horns. It is a perennial plant growing to 0.6-2 meter (1-2 feet) tall, with clustered greenish-yellow flowers with maroon highlights. It blooms from April through June, and favors moist, sandy or rocky soil. Like several other species of milkweed, A. asperula is a food for monarch butterfly caterpillars. A...
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8
Asclepias californica is a species in the Apocynaceae (Dogbane) family known by the common name California milkweed. It is native to California and northern Baja California from the East Bay region southward and the foothills of the Sierras. It is a flowering perennial with thick, white, woolly stems which bend or run along the ground. The plentiful, hanging flowers are rounded structures with reflexed corollas and starlike arrays of bulbous anthers. The flowers are dull to bright shades of lave...
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9
Asclepias albicans is a species of milkweed known by the common names whitestem milkweed and wax milkweed. It is native to the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of California, Arizona, and Baja California. This is a spindly erect shrub growing usually 1 to 3 meters tall, but known to approach four meters. The sticklike branches are mostly naked, the younger ones coated in a waxy residue and a thin layer of woolly hairs. Leaves are ephemeral, growing in whorls of three on the lower branches and falling ...
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10
Asclepias cryptoceras is a species of milkweed known by the common names pallid milkweed and Humboldt Mountains milkweed. It is native to the western United States, where it grows in many types of habitat, especially dry areas. This is a perennial herb growing low against the ground or drooping. It arises from a fleshy, woody rhizome-like root. The thick leaves are round to heart-shaped and arranged oppositely on the short stem. The flower cluster is a cluster of small flowers with centers of br...
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11
Asclepias nyctaginifolia is a species of milkweed known by the common name Mojave milkweed. It is native to the southwestern United States from California to New Mexico, where it grows mainly in desert habitat. This is a perennial herb growing up to about half a meter in maximum height when erect, but often bending or drooping. The thick leaves are oval to lance-shaped and arranged in opposite pairs about the stem. The leaves and stem are generally slightly hairy. The flower cluster is a dense u...
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12
Sarcostemma hirtellum (Funastrum hirtellum) (rambling milkweed, hairy milkweed), is a perennial, vine-like plant of mid- to lower-elevation desert regions. It is a member of the Asclepiadaceae family, and the Sarcostemma genus, the climbing milkweeds. It is found in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico - in southeastern California, southern Nevada, Arizona, Sonora, and Baja California. Hairy milkweed can be an aggressive, opportunistic species, capable of overtaking a suitable ...
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13
Asclepias solanoana is a rare species of milkweed known by the common names serpentine milkweed, prostrate milkweed, and solanoa. It is endemic to California, where it grows only in the North Coast Ranges north of the San Francisco Bay Area. This is a robust perennial herb producing smooth purple stems which lie prostrate along the ground. The thick leaves are arranged oppositely in pairs along the stem. The leaf has an oval or heart-shaped blade supported on a short petiole. The inflorescence i...
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16
Asclepias vestita is a species of milkweed known by the common name woolly milkweed. It is endemic to California, where it grows in many habitats across the state, from mountains to desert to valley. This is a robust perennial herb growing mostly upright or slightly bending. The thick leaves are oval to narrowly lance-shaped. The stem and leaves often have a coat of light-colored hairs, sometimes thick and woolly. The inflorescence is an umbel-shaped array to a spherical cluster of yellowish flo...
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17
Asclepias linaria is a species of milkweed known by the common name pineneedle milkweed. It is native to the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of northern Mexico and the US states of California and Arizona. This is a large erect perennial herb or shrub coated in hairs and many narrow, green leaves which resemble pine needles. The flower cluster is an umbel-like cluster of flowers, each with pink-tinted rounded hoods at the center and greenish reflexed corollas. The fruit is a follicle.


18
Broadleaf Milkweed (Asclepias latifolia) is a native shrub that grows in central California.


19
Grows best in loamy, medium draining soil. Selection from Davis, CA.





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