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(Asclepias asperula)
Spider Antelope Horns Milkweed

Host Plant: Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) and Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus)

Nectar Plant: Monarchs, and other butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds

Flower Color: Greenish-white, greenish-yellow, and yellow

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial that grows 1 to 3 feet tall

Range in North America: Midwest to western United States, except Pacific Northwest

Exposure: Full sun

Hardiness: Zones 4-9

Soil Requirements: dry rocky/sandy soil

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Spider Antelope Horns Milkweed (Asclepias asperula)

Plant of spider milkweed (Asclepias asperula) in a desert.
Plant of Spider Antelope Horns Milkweed (Asclepias asperula) — Patrick Alexander from Las Cruces, NM, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Description of Spider Antelope Horns Milkweed (Asclepias asperula)

Spider Antelope Horns milkweed (Asclepias asperula), a member of the Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family), is a herbaceous perennial that grows from 1 to 3 feet tall and has greenish-white, greenish-yellow, yellow to sometimes purple flowers that bloom from the spring through fall (roughly April to September, depending on location). The flowers in a cluster look like tennis balls. The leaves are simple, opposite, entire, lanceolate to linear-lanceolate in shape and are 4-8 inches in length and 0.25-3 inches wide. The clusters of fruits look like a herd of antelopes. This plant grows in zones 4-9 and likes open areas with full sun that have dry to medium well-drained soil.  More information on this species can be found on this blog post.

Alternative Names

Antelope Horns Milkweed, Spider Milkweed, Milkweed, Green-flowered Milkweed, and Antelope-Horns Milkweed

Hosted Species

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Monarch butterfly on a green flower.
Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on green flower — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus)

Queen butterfly on a yellow flower.
Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus) — ALAN SCHMIERER, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Dogbane Tiger Moth (Cycnia tenera)

Dogbane tiger moth on a brick.
Dogbane Tiger Moth (Cycnia tenera) — xpda, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Other butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds use this plant as a nectar source.

Range of Spider Antelope Horns Milkweed (Asclepias asperula) in the United States and Canada

Range map of spider milkweed (Asclepias asperula) in the United States and Canada.

 

Habitat

Dry rocky woodland habitat in the Western United States.
Rocky Hillside habitat — Patrick Alexander from Las Cruces, NM, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spider Antelope Horns Milkweed is found on rocky/sandy prairies and other places with rocky/sandy soil.

Origin of Name

The genus name, Asclepias, is the Greek name for the God of Medicine.

Webpages

Wikipedia

Videos

Antelope Horn Milkweed

NRCS Oklahoma (Antelope Horn Milkweed)

 

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Native Location

Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

Zone 4, Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9

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