Theodore Payne California Native Plant Database




Asclepias californica

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Botanical Name: Asclepias californica
Common Name: California Milkweed

Densely hairy perennial herb with groups of pretty purple flowers. Likes dry slopes. Forage source for the Monarch and Striated Queen butterflies.


Plant Family: Asclepiadaceae

Plant Type: Perennial

Height by Width: 3' H x 3' W

Growth Habit: Reclining to upright

Deciduous/Evergreen: Winter dormant

Growth Rate: Fast

Sun Exposure: Full to part sun

Soil Preference: Well-draining

Water Requirements: Drought-tolerant to occasional

Cold Hardy to: 6,500'

Flower Season: Spring/Summer

Flower Color: Purplish--dark purple

Endangered? Not Listed

Distribution: Central and southern Sierra Nevada foothills, Central West, South West, Desert; northern Baja CA.

Natural Habitat: Flats, grassy or brushy hillsides. Elevation: 600 - 6,500'

Hummingbirds: FALSE
Birds: FALSE
Under Oaks: FALSE
Butterflies: TRUE
Clay: TRUE
Aromatic: FALSE
Slope/Erosion: FALSE
Container: FALSE



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