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(Asclepias latifolia)
Broad-leaf Milkweed

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

Nectar Plant: Monarchs, and other butterflies and insects

Flower Color: White, Green, yellow, purple

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial that grows 2 to 2.5 feet tall

Range in North America: Southwestern United States, except for Nevada

Exposure: Full sun

Hardiness: Zones 5-9

Soil Requirements: dry soils

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Broad-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias latifolia)

Plant of broad-leaf milkweed (Asclepias latifolia) in the desert.
Broad-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias latifolia) (Torr.) Raf. observed in United States of America by Martin Havran (licensed under CC0 1.0)

Description of Broad-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias latifolia)

Broad-leaf milkweed (Asclepias latifolia), a member of the Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family), is a herbaceous perennial that grows from 2 to 2.5 feet tall and has white, green, yellow or purple flowers that bloom from the spring through fall (roughly May to October, depending on location). The leaves are simple, opposite, entire, ovate to obovate in shape and are 2-6 inches in length and 1.5-5 inches wide. This plant grows in zones 5-9 and likes open areas with full sun that have dry soils.

Alternative Names

No other names known.

Hosted Species

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on a green flower.
Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on a 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

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

Range of Broad-leaf Milkweed (Asclepias latifolia) in the United States and Canada

Range map of broad-leaf milkweed (Asclepias latifolia) in the United States and Canada.

 

Habitat

Desert Shrub habitat.
Patrick Alexander from Las Cruces, NM, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Broad-leaf Milkweed is found in desert shrub, plains, prairies, disturbed areas, and roadsides.

Origin of the Name

The genus name, Asclepias, is the Greek name for the God of Medicine. The species name, latifolia, means “wide leaves.”

Webpages

National Park Service – Arches National Park

Plants for a Future

Calscape.org

 

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Broad-leaf Milkweed”

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