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Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Asclepias californica (California milkweed)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Asclepias californica

Asclepias californica Greene

California Milkweed

Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed Family)


USDA Symbol: ASCA3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

"Asclepias californica is a gray, very wooly-haired perennial in this family growing up to two feet high with large, opposite leaves. The flowers are pink to purple or maroon, and the expanded structure between the anthers on the central column is hoodlike, dark purple, and situated lower than the anthers. The fruit is narrow and podlike with numerous silky-haired seeds." (Bibref 1052)

"Some of the milkweeds were used in early days for healing cuts and treating rheumatism." (Bibref 1052)


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Follicle

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: Reddish purple.


Native Distribution: Central California and south, excluding Central Valley.
Native Habitat: Dry slopes, 6007,000' (182-2,134 m).

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees
Special Value to Honey Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Additional resources

USDA: Find Asclepias californica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Asclepias californica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Asclepias californica


Record Modified: 2017-08-07
Research By: TWC Staff, NH

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