Asclepias speciosa (Showy Milkweed) is an erect, clump-forming perennial prized for its brilliant spherical clusters of fragrant, pinkish-white, starry flowers, which bloom from late spring to early summer. Media Marketing/Shutterstock A monarch butterfly lands on a swamp milkweed plant. However its natural range is in Central and Northern California. Much better, I think, to grow the California natives here. Its carnation-scented blossoms are two-tiered: Five-fingered pink coronas are backed by petals that blush a rosy mauve. A honey bee forages on tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, in a Vacaville pollinator garden on July 27. Monarch butterflies feed exclusively on milkweed plants and depend on them for their survival. Growth pattern. Asclepias eriocarpa. There are 5 separate sepals (petal-like leaves) and 5 fused petals. Showy milkweed may be better suited in garden settings because it spreads less aggressively than Common Milkweed. A. californica is endemic to California but is most widespread in the southern part of the state. Milkweed is the host plant of the monarchs. The loveliest of the California natives is showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa). I only recommend planting milkweed that is native to your area. Milkweed is the plant choice of monarch butterflies, and milkweed can be planted to attract monarchs. We shouldn’t plant it in Southern California. It is hardy in zones 4-9 and is a rhizomatous plant spreading underground or by seeds much like Common milkweed. Image of weeds, blooming, still - 71463249 Photo: Philip Bouchard/Flickr. Photo about Showy Milkweed blooms during early summer in California s Yosemite National Park. The pictures on the web of this showy milkweed were just beautiful and they grow from California east into the Great Plains, not exactly a small geographic area. The large, pointed, banana-like leaves are arranged opposite on the stalk-like stem. We are happy to offer one of the showiest milkweeds, with a wide range in California, always a pleasure to see. It is found in the western half of the US and up into Canada. As with Common milkweed, Showy milkweed can become very invasive in the garden. Milkweed is a beneficial wildflower. This is a drought tolerant species that does well in hot dry conditions. Stems simple, 50–100 cm. — Bobby Gendron. A favorite food for the Monarch Butterfly. Showy Pink Milkweed variety is an essential wildflower for supporting Monarch butterflies by providing food for caterpillars and nectar for the adult butterflies. Its 5" long Its fuzzy leaves are often covered with the caterpillars of Monarch butterflies in summer. Western monarchs overwintering in Arroyo Grande, California. The Facts: Latin name: Asclepias speciosa The showy milkweed – Asclepias speciosa just refused to flower. Choose from tropical milkweed varieties or our California native species. Of the 2000 varieties in the milkweed genus Asclepias, just 15 species are native to California.The California native milkweed species that are most commonly available commercially and grow well in this area are narrow-leaved milkweed (A. fasicularis) and showy milkweed (A. speciosa).Both these varieties are growing in the Butte County Master Gardener Demonstration … It may have “weed” in the name, but there are over 100 species of milkweed … The corona (circle of petals around the center of the flower) contains 5 hooded forms facing inwards. Showy milkweed is native to much of the western half of North America. A popular native wildflower in western North America, Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) commonly occurs on rocky slopes, woodland areas, or along roads or streams. Monarch butterflies are rapidly declining due to loss of habitat and use of pesticides. General Description . Showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) Elevation: 0 – 1,900 m (0 – 6,250 feet) Flowering time: May – September Flower color: corolla pink, corona pink or white Maximum Height: 5 feet Description: Showy milkweed grows in dry to moist soil in open, sunny areas and occurs in many plant communities including wetlands, meadows, Habitat. Showy milkweed is native to California. Asclepias speciosa – This California native has beautiful pinkish flowers. Like other drought tolerant milkweeds, the stems and leaves are covered with a thick covering of long hairs giving the plant a woolly appearance. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey) A female monarch stops at the tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica. Photo about Showy Milkweed blooming in California s Yosemite National Park. Showy milkweed seeds need 30 days of cold stratification to improve germination, Sow the seeds about 1/4 inch deep. For instance, plants in the milkweed family, Asclepiadaceae, (don't let the name intimidate you), secrete a milky sap (except for Butterfly Milkweed) and opposite or sometimes whorled leaves. This species is native to the western half of North America. Image of american, weeds, wildflowers - 45110854 Showy Milkweed - Asclepias speciosa; While walking along the Yampa River, I came across some beautiful showy milkweed flowers. Narrow-leaved milkweed, or Asclepias fascicularis, is a relatively showy plant reaching about three feet in height with pale pink to cream colored flowers. Germination can occur as quickly as one week but may take longer. There are several California native milkweeds, which are the ones we should be planting. The California native milkweed species that are most commonly available commercially and grow well in this area are narrow-leaved milkweed (A. fasicularis) and showy milkweed (A. speciosa). Save Comp. California Narrow Leaf Milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis) is a western native species of Asclepias grown for its large white flowers and long, showy narrow leaves. This flowering plant is a hairy, erect perennial. However, this is not a native milkweed to the United States so I do not recommend planting this. I remember talking to Carol Bornstein ( a legitimate California native plant expert) she asked me do yours ever flower? This Western North American native lives up to its name with big orbs of star-shaped violet-pink flowers. Similar Photos See All. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey) Habitat and range. Asclepias speciosa We are happy to offer one of the showiest milkweeds, with a wide range in California, always a pleasure to see. Showy Milkweed is mostly found in higher elevations and the flowers are typically a variation of pink and white depending on geography. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey) A honey bee makes a beeline for the tropical milkweed,Asclepias curassavica. Liam O'Brien. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey) The female monarch spreads its wings. John Torrey, a Columbia University botanist, recorded this species for science in 1820 from a specimen found near the Canadian River. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey) Close quarters: a honey bee and a monarch caterpillar on tropical milkweed. The flowers are a great source of nectar for butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other beneficial insects. The Myths to Bust Myth #1: Milkweed is an invasive weed. Velvety leaves glow in soft light. Ecological Function Th This milkweed is native to California. Milkweed is the host plant of the monarchs. The flowers of this milkweed are fragrant." He writes and illustrates the monthly Flying Pansy column for … A female monarch stops at the tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica. I’ve seen Showy Milkweed in California with all white flowers and some in New Mexico that are all pink. 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