Plant Image
Flower head
Grapevine Canyon - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Asclepias nyctaginifolia - Mojave milkweed

Other Common Names: four o'clock-leafed milkweed
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Asclepiadaceae

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Flower heads
Grapevine Canyon
Sue Smith
Grapevine Canyon
Sue Smith
Grapevine Canyon
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Grapevine Canyon
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: Low growing plant with erect to spreading stems, dark green, wavy edged leaves and pale green flowers. The rounded flower clusters are found along the plant's stem. It is one of the food plants for the queen butterfly caterpillars.
Identification notes: Several erect to spreading stems from a cluster of slender rhizomes. Leaves mostly opposite or whorled, seldom more than 1/2 inch wide, often less than 3 times as long as wide. Horn yellow, winglike, tapering to a slender, exserted point; hood stalked.
Height: To 1-1/2 feet


Habitat Description: Washes, slopes, roadsides of deserts, grasslands, and open woodlands and at springs.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 1600 - 6500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Pale green     Shape: Regular in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: May - Jun
Description: The pink-tinted pale green flowers are in rounded, terminal clusters. Each flower has 5 reflexed petals and 5 upright yellowish hoods. The flower hoods are slightly shorter than the petals and have only slightly protruding horns.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Dark green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Opposite     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: The thick leaves are large, dark green, wavy-edged and oval to lance-shaped, opposite and stemmed.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Type: Pod
Fruit Notes: Seed pods are erect. Seed pods are on bent, curving downward or curving backward stems.
Seed Notes: Flat seeds have a tuft of silky hairs.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
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Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
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