Gardening
in Tucson, Phoenix,
Arizona and California

Gardening in Tucson, Phoenix, Arizona and California

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Asclepias subulata: Rush Milkweed / Desert Milkweed

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Description
Form: Shrub with woody base and herbaceous stems.
Leaf retention: Deciduous.
Growth rate: Moderate.
Mature Size: 4' high and wide.
Flowers: Small flowers in clusters, dull yellow to white, not showy.
Bloom: Spring through fall.
Fruit: Horn-shaped seed pods, 3" long, initially blue to green.
Leaves: Small, narrow leaves appear during rain and drop in drought.
Stems: No thorns. Long, narrow, upright blue to green.
Roots: Taproot.
Wildlife: Attracts butterflies, bees, and insects that feed on aphids. Caterpillar food plant for Queen and Monarch butterflies.
Toxic / Danger: Plant is toxic, and sap is skin irritant.
Origin: California, Nevada, Arizona and Mexico.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 9-11.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to part shade.
Water once established: Monthly. Overwatering attracts aphids.
Soil: Well drained, pH 6.6-8.5 (neutral to alkaline).
Prune: In winter, cut overgrown clumps to base to induce new growth.
Litter: Low.
Propagation: Seed.
Uses: Accent, butterfly attractor, butterfly caterpillar nursery.

Comments
Long blooming.



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Asclepias subulata: Rush Milkweed / Desert Milkweed - flowers

Asclepias subulata: Rush Milkweed / Desert Milkweed - with butterfly

Asclepias subulata: Rush Milkweed / Desert Milkweed - seed pods

Asclepias subulata: Rush Milkweed / Desert Milkweed