Rush milkweed (Asclepias subulata) - 75 seeds
Attracts monarch butterflies and other pollinators. Deer and rabbit resistant. Planting more milkweeds, even in small urban pockets, can provide personal satisfaction and education while helping to counter increasing threats to monarch butterfly populations.
Native to the southwest region of North America, this milkweed makes a strong architectural statement. Groups of slim, gray-green branches rise 3 feet tall and flower with cream-colored blooms. Rush milkweed is suitable for planting among rocks along a simulated arroyo or along any pathway with a desert plant palette. Every few years the plant may be cut to the ground in late winter to renew itself. This drought-tolerant plant also attracts hummingbirds. Also called desert milkweed and skeleton milkweed.
Note: Plant this milkweed in a low-traffic area, because the flower attract tarantula hawks (family Pompilidae), which have a very painful sting.
Milkweed plants are the sole larval host plant for monarch butterflies as well as an adult nectar source for various pollinators. If you grow it, they will come!
|U.S. Native Range||AZ, CA, NV|
|Hardiness Zones||9 - 11 (find your zone)|
|Plant Family||Apocynaceae (dogbane)|
|Growth Type||Perennial forb/herb/subshrub|
|Bloom Period||Late spring through fall|
|Bloom Color||Creamy white|
|Plant Height||3 to 4 feet|
|Plant Spread||3 to 4 feet|
|Light Exposure||Full sun to partial shade|
|Soil||Dry to average moisture|
|Notes||Seeds DO NOT require germination treatment|
If you are growing this plant in a butterfly garden that includes larval host plants, follow our instructions for a safe and healthy (organic) habitat. DO NOT USE PESTICIDES of any kind on plants that are part of a butterfly garden or you will poison the creatures that feed on the plant.
Remember that MILKWEED CONTAINS TOXINS. The monarch caterpillar intentionally eats milkweed to become distasteful to protect itself from predators, hence the bright warning colors they feature as adults (butterflies). After handling milkweed, WASH HANDS THOROUGHLY and do not get the milky sap into your eyes or mouth. NEVER ingest any part of a milkweed plant.Photos 1 & 4 by Flickr user Anne Reeves under CC BY-ND 2.0; photo 2 by Flickr user Homer Edward Price under CC BY 2.0; photo 3 by Flickr user Marshal Hedin under CC BY-SA 2.0