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Asclepias vestita

Asclepias vestita Hook. & Arn.

Woolly Milkweed

Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed Family)


USDA Symbol: ASVE2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This species is endemic (not found anywhere else) to California. It gained its common name because the leaves are covered with fine white hairs, giving the plant a fuzzy or woolly appearance, a trait common to plants that grow in arid, sunny environments. This plant is similar to A. eriocarpa and A. erosa, but differs from A. eriocarpa in leaf shape. Differs from both species in the position of the umbels that lack peduncles such that the individual flowers are attached directly to the main stem.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate , Oval
Fruit Type: Follicle
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Leaf: Oval to narrow lanceolate with tips typically pointing upward. Leaves are thick and covered with fine white hairs. 2 3/4 - 6 3/4 in (7-17 cm) long.
Flower: Corolla is usually a cream to yellow color with purple or brown tinge. Hoods and horns are a cream to yellow color. Corolla reflexes backward to expose hoods. Umbels directly attach to the main stem with 10 +/- flowers per umbel. Corolla outer surface is covered with fine hairs, but the hoods, horns, and inside of corollas are hairless. 1-3 umbels per stem.
Fruit: Yellowish, 2 7/16 in (6 cm) long and 1 in (2 1/2 cm) thick. Pedicels are reflexed. Glabrous when mature.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Purple , Brown
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


Native Habitat: This species resides in open fields in the southern half of California in areas that experience winter and spring rainfall followed by hot, dry summer and fall conditions.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Conditions Comments: Not shade tolerant, needs full sun.

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 20 - Milkweed Profiles (0) Monarch Watch
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-03-09
Research By: DEW

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