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(Asclepias linaria)
Pineneedle Milkweed

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

Nectar Plant: Monarchs, and other butterflies and insects

Flower Color: white, pink, or green

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial that grows 2 to 5 feet tall

Range in North America: Southwestern United States in Arizona and New Mexico

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Hardiness: Zones 9-11

Soil Requirements: well-drained soil

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Pineneedle Milkweed (Asclepias linaria)

Close-up of flowers of pineneedle milkweed (Asclepias linaria).

Alternative Names

Pine-needle Milkweed, Needle-leaf Milkweed, Threadleaf Milkweed, and Pineleaf Milkweed

Description of Pineneedle Milkweed (Asclepias linaria)

Pineneedle Milkweed (Asclepias linaria), a member of the Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family), is a herbaceous perennial to subshrub that grows from 2 to 5 feet tall and has white, pink, or green flowers that bloom throughout the growing season, roughly March to October. The leaves are simple, opposite, entire, needle-like in shape, and 1.25 to 3 inches in length and 0.02 to 0.16 inches in width. This plant grows in zones 9-11 and likes open areas with full sun to partial shade that have well-drained soil.  More information about Pineneedle Milkweed can be found on this blog post.

Hosted Species

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on goldenrod.
Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) on goldenrod — ALAN SCHMIERER from southeast AZ, USA, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus)

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

Range of Pineneedle Milkweed (Asclepias linaria) in the United States and Canada

Range map of Pineneedle milkweed (Asclepias linaria) in the United States and Canada.

Habitat

Pineneedle Milkweed grows on rocky slopes between the elevations of 1,500 ft. and 6,000 ft. in the southwestern United States.  This plant can live in conditions that have full sun to partial shade with well-drained soil.

Interesting Facts

The genus name, Asclepias, is the Greek name for the God of Medicine and the species name, linaria, is Latin for linear, referring to the leaves.  This milkweed is endemic to the desert areas of the American Southwest.

Native Location

Arizona, New Mexico

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone

Zone 9, Zone 10, Zone 11

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Pineneedle Milkweed”

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