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(Asclepias subverticillata)
Horsetail Milkweed

Hosted Species: Monarch Butterfly

Nectar Plant: many other butterflies and bees

Flower Color: white

Growth Habit: herbaceous perennial to grows to 4 feet tall

Range in North America: western North America, except for west coast

Exposure: Full Sun to part shade

Hardiness: Zones 5-8

Soil Requirements: sandy, rocky soil in open area

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Horsetail Milkweed (Asclepias subverticillata)

White flowers of horsetail milkweed (Asclepias subverticillata).
Flowers of Horsetail Milkweed (Asclepias subverticillata) — Patrick Alexander from Las Cruces, NM, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Description of Horsetail Milkweed (Asclepias subverticillata)

Horsetail Milkweed (Asclepias subverticillata), a member of the Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family), is a herbaceous perennial that grows to 4 feet tall and has white flowers that bloom in the summer. More information on this milkweed can be found on this blog post.

Alternative Names

Poison Milkweed, Western Milkweed, Bedstraw Milkweed

Hosted Species

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Monarch butterfly on goldenrod.
Monarch Butterfly on Goldenrod – ALAN SCHMIERER from southeast AZ, USA, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many butterflies and bees use this plant as a nectar source.

Range of Horsetail Milkweed (Asclepias subverticillata) in the United States and Canada

Range map of horsetail milkweed (Asclepias subverticillata) in the United States and Canada.
Range map of horsetail milkweed (Asclepias subverticillata) in the United States and Canada.

Habitat

Plants of horsetail milkweed (Asclepias subverticillata) in a field.
Horsetail Milkweed in a field — Patrick Alexander from Las Cruces, NM, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Horsetail milkweed is generally found in open sandy and rocky places, fields, and pastures.

Origin of the Name

The species name of this plant refers to the not quite whorled arrangement of the leaves. The pods have been used as clothing by Native Americans.

Horsetail Milkweed (Asclepias subverticillata) Links

Webpages

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Southwest Desert Flora

Videos

Gail Morris

 

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