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Asclepias erosa

Asclepias erosa Torr.

Desert Milkweed

Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed Family)


USDA Symbol: ASER2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Desert Milkweed stands tall with white to yellow flowers in contrast to its green to yellow stem. Leaves vary from mostly smooth to highly pubescent, i.e. covered with fine cream-colored hair, making identification somewhat difficult. This species requires well-drained soils and is limited to deserts and near desert conditions with sandy soils (Webref 20).


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb , Subshrub
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate , Ovate
Fruit Type: Follicle
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.
Leaf: Ovate to laceolate. Color is pale to dark green. Can be hairy to hairless. Edges are wavy and bend upward around main central vein.
Flower: Color is white to yellow. Horns protrude from the hoods. The corolla folds back from the hoods after blossoming. Umbels stand erect with 20 +/- flowers. Thick peduncle. Flower is 1/8 in (5-6 mm) long.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AZ , CA , NV , UT
Native Habitat: Desert regions, mountain slopes, and roadsides.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Needs dry granite, sand, or clay soils with low organic content.
Conditions Comments: Not shade tolerant, needs full sun.


Use Other: Native Americanís would boil the latex from this plant until hard and would use it as chewing gum.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes
Poisonous: yes

Web Reference

Webref 20 - Milkweed Profiles (0) Monarch Watch

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2014-10-10
Research By: DEW

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