Plant Image
Flower head
Aspen Creek Tr - SS

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Asclepias tuberosa - butterfly milkweed

Other Common Names: butterflyweed
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Asclepiadaceae

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Flower head
Aspen Creek Tr
Aspen Creek Tr
Plant - summer
Aspen Creek Tr
Plant - summer
Aspen Creek Tr
Hairy stem
Aspen Creek Tr
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: This bushy perennial is prized for its large, flat-topped clusters of bright-orange flowers. A host plant for Gray Hairstreak and Monarch butterfly caterpillars. Lacks milky sap.
Height: 1 to 2 feet


Habitat Description: Prefers well-drained sandy soils. Tolerates drought. Grasslands and montane at 4,000 to 8,000 feet; clearings in pine forests.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest
Elevation: 4000 - 8000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Orange or yellow     Shape: Irregular in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: May - Sep
Description: Large flat, round cluster, 2 to 3 inches wide, of small flowers. Each flower is 3/8 inch wide with downward sloping petals.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Light green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Narrow leaves, 2 to 6 inches long.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Green turning brown   
Fruit Type: Pod
Fruit Notes: Erect, narrow green pod, turning brown, 6 inches long. Covered with fine hairs. Pods are in small clusters.
Seed Notes: Large brown seeds with silken "parachutes" to carry them.

  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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