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(Asclepias engelmanniana)
Engelmann’s Milkweed

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

Nectar Plant: Monarchs, and other butterflies and insects

Flower Color: green, purple tinged flowers

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial that grows 2 to 4.5 feet tall

Range in North America: Mostly Great Plains and Arizona

Exposure: Full sun

Hardiness: unkown

Soil Requirements: dry soils

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Engelmann’s Milkweed (Asclepias engelmanniana)

Plants of Engelmann's Milkweed (Asclepias engelmanniana) in a field.
Plant of Engelmann’s Milkweed– Asclepias engelmanniana Woodson
observed in United States of America
by calinsdad (licensed under CCO 1.0

Description of Engelmann’s Milkweed (Asclepias engelmanniana)

Engelmann’s milkweed (Asclepias engelmanniana), a member of the Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family), is a herbaceous perennial that grows from 2 to 4.5 feet tall and has green to yellowish-green, purple-tinged flowers that bloom in the summer (roughly June to September, depending on location). The leaves are simple, alternate, entire, linear in shape and are up to 10 inches in length and about 0.2 inches wide. This plant likes open areas with full sun that have dry soils. In some cases, it can handle partial shade.

Alternative Names

No other names known.

Hosted Species

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Male Monarch Butterfly (Danaus gillipus) on plant.
Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) — U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus)

Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus) on a branch.
Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus) — Korall, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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

Range of Engelmann’s Milkweed in the United States and Canada

Range map of Englemann's Milkweed (Asclepias engelmanniana) in the United States and Canada.



Steppe habitat in southwestern United States.
Desert Shrub Habitat — Patrick Alexander from Las Cruces, NM, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Engelmann’s Milkweed is found in open areas with full sun such as prairies, open woodlands, roadsides, and disturbed areas.

Origin of the Name

The genus name, Asclepias, is the Greek name for the God of Medicine. The species name, engelmanniana, is in honor of George Engelmann, a German-American botanist.


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Engelmann’s Milkweed”

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