Asclepias engelmanniana Woodson
Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed Family)
Synonym(s): Acerates auriculata, Asclepias auriculata
USDA Symbol: ASEN
Perennial 2-4 1/2 feet in height. The stems are stout with from 1 to 4 branching from the ground. The leaves are close together on the lower third of the stem. As they grow up the stem, the leaves become grouped in 3s at the nodes, and toward the upper third of the stem, they are paired at the nodes. Very narrow in shape, they measure only 1/16 –1/8 inch wide, but can grow up to 9 inches long. Several to many flower clusters grow from the upper nodes. Each cluster has 20–28 small, pale-green flowers that look very crowded. The corolla is abruptly bent downward and wheel-shaped. Each petal turns up at the tip and is a somewhat darker brownish or purplish color on its underside. The corona rises up about 1/4 inch tall and is squared off at the top. It has no horns. The oval seeds are about 3/8 inch long and have a pale tawny, silklike tail about 1 1/4 inches long. (Bibref 264)
The species of this plant is named for George Engelmann (1809-1884) who was born in Germany and settled in St. Louis, Missouri, as a young man. He was a physician and botanist, describing especially North American Abies (Firs), agaves, cacti (for which he described more than 108 species), Cuscuta (Dodder), Euphorbiaceae (Spurge Family), Juncus (Rushes), Juniperus (“Cedar”), Pinus (Pines), Vitis (Grapes), and yuccas.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Linear
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Apex: Acute
Leaf Base: Attenuate
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Follicle
Size Notes: One to four feet in height.
Leaf: Leaves often approximate and may appear verticillate.
Size Class: 1-3 ft. , 3-6 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Pale green tinged with purple
DistributionUSA: AZ , CO , IA , KS , NE , NM , OK , TX
Native Distribution: Endangered in IA.
Native Habitat: Highway right-of-ways, prairies, washes and draws, hillsides, caprock ledges and canyon breaks in Texas. (Bibref 264)
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial 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.
BibliographyBibref 264 - Wildflowers of the Western Plains (1992) Kirkpatrick, Z.M.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Asclepias engelmanniana in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Asclepias engelmanniana in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Asclepias engelmanniana
MetadataRecord Modified: 2017-08-22
Research By: TWC Staff, NH