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Flower head
Highlands Center for Natural History - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Asclepias engelmanniana - Engelmann's milkweed

Synonyms: Acerates auriculata, Asclepias auriculata
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Asclepiadaceae

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Flower head
Highlands Center for Natural History
Sue Smith
Highlands Center for Natural History
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Highlands Center for Natural History
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: A tall, slender plant with drooping, narrow, linear leaves. Flowers are in umbels at leaf nodes along the stem.
Identification notes: Perennial herb with milky sap. Erect stems stout, typically unbranched. Leaves narrowly linear, irregularly alternate, smooth or slightly hairy. Small flowers are greenish-yellow, often tinged with purple and borne in hairy lateral umbels.
Height: To 47 inches


Habitat Description: Sandy, rocky or limestone soils. Creeks, canyons, open woodlands and open pine forests.
Plant Communities: Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Riparian
Elevation: 4000 - 7200 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Pale green to yellow     Shape: Irregular in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Jun - Sep
Description: The flower umbels are about 2 inches wide. The individual flowers have 5 pale greenish-white petals with purple tips and are about 3/8 inch wide. Hoods are broad, saclike, closely upright next to the central column.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: The narrow leaves are to 10 inches long and droop downward from the stem.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Green   
Fruit Type: Pod
Fruit Notes: The fruit is a curved conical pod to 6 inches long with lengthwise wrinkles and a pointed tip. The greenish pod turns tan with age and contains many flat, dark brown seeds.
Seed Notes: Seeds have silk-like white hairs at one end that help to carry them away on the wind.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Dec 13, 2022
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