Plant Image
Flower head
Grapevine Canyon - SS

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Asclepias nyctaginifolia - Mojave milkweed

Plant Form: Forb

Family: Asclepiadaceae

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Grapevine Canyon
Flower heads
Grapevine Canyon
Grapevine Canyon
Plant - summer
Grapevine Canyon
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: Low growing plant with erect to spreading stems, dark green, wavy edged leaves and pale green flowers. The rounded flower clusters are found along the plant's stem. It is one of the food plants for the Queen butterfly caterpillars.
Identification notes: Several erect to spreading stems from a cluster of slender rhizomes. Leaves mostly opposite or whorled, seldom more than 1/2 inch wide, usually less than 3 times as long as wide. Horn yellow, winglike, tapering to a slender, exserted point.
Height: To 1-1/2 feet


Habitat Description: Upland desert arroyos, washes and dry slopes.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 1600 - 6500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Pale green     Shape: Irregular in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: May - Jun
Description: The pink-tinted pale green flowers are in rounded, terminal clusters. Each flower has 5 reflexed petals and 5 upright yellowish hoods. The flower hoods are slightly shorter than the petals and have only slightly protruding horns.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Dark green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Round or Oval     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Opposite     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: The thick leaves are large, dark green, wavy-edged and oval to lance-shaped. They are arranged in whorled or opposite pairs around the stem.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Type: Pod
Fruit Notes: The pod contains many flat seeds, each seed having a tuft of silky hairs.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 3.1  
Last Updated: June 15, 2013  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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