Milkweed Pollination . You can keep it in check by plucking off all the flowers before they turn into seedpods. Plant milkweed — it’s the sole food source for monarch caterpillars and is attractive to many pollinators for its nectar-rich flowers. Showy milkweed is a member of the milkweed family (Asclepidaceae). New growth often has small leaves that don’t stick around unless there is ample humidity. Then water every 4-5 days after that. This is a great article. Most aphid species are greenish, however, the most common species found on members of the milkweed family are bright orange-yellow. It is hardy to at least the low 20s F. After plants are established, they can tolerate long periods of drought. Prefers some protection from the harsh summer sun. Female monarchs search for milkweed to lay their eggs. Pick a location with full sun and prepare soil for good drainage, if needed. Milkweed vines in the Sonoran Desert have undergone many name changes, varietal names, species splits and combinations. See you soon! milkweed (Asclepias spp.) Lightly water the plant until the soil is saturated. Propagation: Growing native milkweeds to build habitat, Expanding Monarch Habitat: Planting habitat and milkweed at schools and community centers, Milkweed Research: Finding the best native milkweeds to support monarch and pollinator populations. Keep the soil moist by misting, but seeds can rot if allowed to sit in soggy soil. We recorded video providing the first conclusive evidence that the black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) consumes Mojave milkweed (Asclepias ny… It tolerates a range of soils, given that they are fast-draining. - The Desert Milkweed only has leaves after a rainfall. Growing Instructions: Start Desert Milkweed seeds outdoors in late November. Requires very little supplemental water once established. The pod is ornamental too: horn-shaped and 3 inches long, it narrows from a ¾ inch diameter base to a point. Desert Milkweed will thrive in a location with lots of sun and reflected heat, such as near a pool where it will make a stately accent. The long, oblong leaves are light green and grow to about 8 inches long. Milkweed is crucial to the life-cycle of the monarch butterfly. The range of desert milkweed extends from western Arizona and southern Nevada, into southeastern California and Baja California, Sonora, and Sinaloa, Mexico. Dig the hole only as deep as the roots but twice as wide. Growing milkweed. Set the soil aside. The Garden will be closed Dec. 25. Desert Milkweed is a regal vase-shaped perennial with grey green stems. It is an invaluable addition to the butterfly garden, because it is such a crucial food source for the larval stage of the Queen and Monarch butterflies. Plant in … Excessive watering encourages succulent growth favored by aphids. Please be sure to read our safety measures before you make your reservation. Asclepias erosa, also known as desert milkweed, and Asclepias cordifolia, known as heart-leaf milkweed, would be … Culture Good drainage is important for Desert Milkweed, as is full sun. Positive: On Jul 1, 2008, kittysue from Fairborn, OH wrote: I collected my seed while in Las Vegas. Choosing and Planting Low Water-Use Plants. I don't do anything special with them at all. They get this when planted outside, but to speed up the growing process, treat the seeds through stratification. Plant … The white milky sap that oozes from cut stems contains rubber. The plants are also enjoyed by the Monarch look-alike, the Queen Butterfly. Place seeds into a container of moist soil, cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least three weeks. It is great for hot areas with full sun. Desert Botanical Garden is helping monarchs with our Great Milkweed Grow Out initiative through: Milkweed (genus Asclepias) is the only plant that monarch butterflies can lay their eggs on and that caterpillars can eat. Milkweed is a beautiful plant with beautiful flowers. Hello Matt. New growth often has small leaves that don’t stick around unless there is ample humidity. You can plant milkweed starter plants purchased at specialty nurseries. In the summer you can water at the same frequency but for a longer period of time during each watering. Milkweed will provide Monarch Butterfly habitat and can be planted along building foundations as it is here (behind the blooming aloes) at the Fiesta Police Department in Mesa. Monarch larvae (caterpillars) will only feed on milkweeds in the Asclepias family. I've started dozens of them from seeds and they're very gratifying. Learn more at Southwest Monarch Study. Common name: Desert Milkweed Latin name: Asclepias erosa Family: ASCLEPIADACEAE Color: Cream, greenish white Height: 18 to more than 36 inches tall. I’m in zone 5b (southern Ontario) and grow swamp milkweed but it usually doesn’t start to come up until mid/late spring and usually isn’t a decent size until at least early summer. Click here for more info. Also, be sure to read through all of our featured Plant of the Month blogs! This species does best on the east or north side of the house or in light shade/filtered sun. The stems contain a milky sap that is a food source for butterflies. Provide regular water for the milkweed plants to keep the soil evenly moist throughout the growing season. From spring through fall, flat-topped clusters of pale yellow flowers top each stem. I love desert milkweeds--they're one of my favorites. Arizona Milkweed or Asclepias angustifolia is another great variety to try. You can find plant descriptions like this and many more in her book Native Plants for Southwestern Landscapes. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different." It may be hairless to very fuzzy. Easy to germinate "if seed is viable". Desert Botanical Garden is helping monarchs with our Great Milkweed Grow Out initiative. Always wear gloves when handling the plants and wash hands and skin thoroughly if you come into contact with them. The plants are unlike any other milkweed species and small individuals are commonly confused with juvenile pine trees. Judy Mielke is a horticulturist, Landscape Architect and the author of one of Water – Use It Wisely’s favorite books. Monarch butterfly populations have declined as much as 90 percent over the last two decades. Use a pair of pruning shears. Grows to be 2-3 feet tall by 2-3 feet wide. But this beautiful plant requires care in handling. OPEN DAILY 8 A.M.|7 A.M. FOR MEMBERS WED. & SUN. The plant’s spread can reach 2 feet or more. Giant milkweed (Calotropis gigantea, syn. They all seem closely related varying in leaf shape and the degree of hirsuteness. W… From time to time, Water – Use It Wisely features guest bloggers who write about topics related to water and water conservation. Dec. 28-31 | The Garden will close at 4 p.m. and reopen to Luminaria ticket holders at 5:30 p.m. Gently tamp down the soil around the roots. Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a native herbaceous perennial whose main virtue is its appeal to butterfliesespecially the monarch, which deposits its eggs on the milkweed. Mother and daughter in masks at desert botanical garden. Desert Milkweed Asclepias subulata The Desert Milkweed, a tough native with creamy-yellow flowers that appear in spring, summer, and fall, are absolutely delectable to butterflies. Monarch butterfly populations have declined as much as 90 percent over the last two decades. Visit our page on Choosing and Planting Low Water-Use Plants for tips on plant selection and how to plant properly. - This plant is easy to take care of in Phoenix, because it is drought resistant. But you may be asking, “should I prune milkweed.” Milkweed pruning isn’t really necessary, but deadheading milkweed can enhance appearance and encourage further flowering. You will now enter our LEARN portal, if you are a member, please login using the button on the top right corner of the page. I just plant them (barely covered in soil) in moist potting soil and water them when they're just starting to get dry, and I … Add more soil if needed to maintain the soil line. Asclepias erosa is a species of milkweed known commonly as desert milkweed. Plant milkweeds to provide habitat for Monarch Butterflies. I mixed a pot of 2/3 well composted cow manure (very fine black crumbly), and 1/3 all purpose sand. The distinctive yellow/white flowers bloom from spring to fall, and the Desert Milkweed is one of 30 known milkweed species that is considered a Monarch butterfly host plant. It occurs in southern Nevada, western Arizona, and southeastern California, and in Baja California, Sonora, and Sinaloa, Mexico, from near sea level to 2500 feet. There are 108 species of milkweed in North America. It is winter dormant, but grows quickly to 3’ to 6’ tall in the spring. When the caterpillars hatch, they feed on the leaves of milkweed. Care must be taken when incorporating milkweed into your garden. For Asclepias angustifolia, water every 2-3 days. This species does better with additional water. Excessive watering encourages succulent growth favored by aphids. About Desert Milkweed (Asclepias erosa) 3 Nurseries Carry This Plant Add to My Plant List; Asclepias erosa is a species of milkweed known commonly as desert milkweed. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Desert Botanical Garden is helping monarchs with our Great Milkweed Grow Out initiative through: On-site programming is currently on hiatus. Full image of a Desert Milkweed - Can reach hieghts of 4 ft. - The Desert Milkweed grows best in full sun. Native American Ethnobotany compiled and edited by Daniel E. Moerman (1998), and Food Plants of the Sonoran Desert by Wendy C. Hodgson (2001). You can help by planting milkweed and nectar plants in your backyard. ARIZONA-SONORA DESERT MUSEUM PLANT CARE INFORMATION Desert Milkweed Asclepias erosa DESCRIPTION: Desert Milkweed is a perennial herb with erect yellow-green stems and foliage in shades of pale whitish-green to dark green with white veining. Plant into containers, if desired, and place under a grow light inside about six weeks before soil temperatures outside have warmed. The Seris used the roots for headaches, toothaches and heart … Originating in the Sonoran desert of Arizona, this small evergreen shrub has clusters of yellow flowers in spring to fall. Culture Good drainage is important for Desert Milkweed, as is full sun. Without milkweed, monarchs will not survive. Milkweed Calotropis Seeds. Some examples of species with narrow leaves would include the Asclepias verticillata, or whorled milkweed and the Asclepias linaria, or pine needle milkweed. The name "milkweed" refers to the milky, white sap that is present in most members of this family, and the habit of growing in poor or "weedy" soil. Water deeply every day for about 1 week so the roots can get established. It is hardy to at least the low 20s F. After plants are established, they can tolerate long periods of drought. Find milkweed grown at the Garden in our Garden Shop and biannual plant sales. It is the life source and host plant for both the Monarch and Queen butterflies. Take care of milkweed plants to ensure a thriving milkweed patch in your landscape. Advance Ticket reservations are required. Any species in the milkweed family will do, but the easiest to grow is the common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca. View Arizona milkweed plant information at You might us it in a courtyard or near a pool. In the United States, loss of milkweed habitat is a major factor in the decline of the monarchs. Native Distribution Desert Milkweed typically grows in sandy washes and less frequently on desert plains or rocky hillsides. You can learn more about Desert Milkweed and other plants on our Arizona Low-Water-Use Plants page. Asclepiadaceae, Milkweed Family Form Sub-shrub Range Southeastern California, southern Nevada, western Arizona, and northern Baja California and Sonora, Mexico Habitat Mainly desert washes, also rocky slopes and plains Living Desert Location MacDonald Butterfly Garden, Upper … Book: Rubber Content and Habits of a Second Desert Milkweed (Asclepias Erosa) of Southern California and Arizona Ralph E. Beckett, Edward N. Duncan, Robert S. Stitt U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1938 - 11 pages Leaf: 3 to 6 inches, opposite, thick textured, blade lanceolate, sometimes clasping stem. Arizona milkweed (Asclepias angustifolia), Antelope horns milkweed (Asclepias asperula). HISTORY & FOLKLORE Historically, various Native Americans throughout its range have used desert milkweed as a medicinal plant. Arizona has at least 29 species of milkweed native to the state, which means you can find the right milkweed for your backyard. Makes a great screen plant once full size. Desert Milkweed lends an authentic note to desert wash plantings, and the flowers attract butterflies. Thanks for taking the time to post it! OPEN DAILY 8 A.M. | 7 A.M. FOR MEMBERS WED. Medicinal use of the herb: None known Known hazards of Asclepias erosa: Although no specific reports have been seen for this species, many, if not all, members of this genus … Cultivation of Desert Milkweed: Dry slopes and washes below 1500 metres in California. Description Desert Milkweed, Asclepias subulata,  has slender gray-green stems that grow vertically to 4 feet from a woody base. Asclepias gigantean) is a quaint shrub or small tree with plenty of character. Can you recommend a variety of milkweed that starts to germinate in early spring. Leaves 2 inches long by 1/8-inch-wide appear on new growth but soon drop. Milkweeds in a 1-gallon pot can be planted in the ground. Growing the plants will attract and feed these beautiful butterflies. That’s why we love desert plants and feature them each month. It is native to southern California, Arizona, and northern Baja California, where it is most abundant in the desert regions. When the soil dries, water the planting area again to moisten it without over-saturating it. Landscape Use This plant’s form creates a strong vertical accent in the landscape. species known to exist in ... consulting native or Western health care workers. Description: Cluster/umbel of flowers on white wooly stems and leaves that become smooth with age. Description. Grows to be 8-10 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide. Desert Milkweed is a regal vase-shaped perennial with grey green stems. This nearly leafless, succulent milkweed is one of the hardiest plants you can have in your landscape.