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Sonoran Desert Milkweeds

Shrubs, vines and perennial herbs. Bright white latex sap rapidly oozes from breaks in tissue. Distinctive, five-pointed flowers often in an umbel. Fruit a follicle containing usu. comose seeds.

Climbing Milkweed

Funastrum cyanchoides

Needle-leaf Milkweed

Asclepias linaria

Watercolor by Michael Plagens

Twining, twisting vine that may ascend high into wash bank trees or cling in-mass to fences. Leaves slightly hairy, mostly linear or somewhat arrow-shaped. V. common. Detailed Description

Pen & Ink by Mike Plagens

Woody shrub at upper elevations of the Sonoran Desert. Uncommon. Ten to thirty stems from base usu. less than 1 meter tall with crowded pine needle-like leaves. Detailed Description

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Desert Milkweed

Asclepias subulata

White-stemmed Milkweed

Asclepias albicans

Watercolor © by Michael Plagens

Leafless green to white stems a meter tall. Very popular in xeriscapes. Detailed Description

Photo by Mike Plagens

Large, long smooth-green wands reaching a 1 to 2 meters tall. Woody stems below. Far southwestern portions of Sonoran Desert. Detailed Description.

Mojave Milkweed

Asclepias nyctaginifolia

Arizona Swallowwort

Cynanchum arizonicum

Photo by Mike Plagens

Wedge-shaped to elyptic, opposite, tough leaves. Clusters of large, green-hued flowers. Upper elevations of Sonoran Desert. Detailed Description.

Photo by Mike Plagens

Not-so-common vine with small white-yellow flowers appearing mostly singly in leaf axils. Pods elongate. Detailed Description.

Spearleaf

Matalea parvifolia

Desert Milkweed

Asclepias erosa

Photo by Mike Plagens

Easily goes unnoticed with very small dark flowers on a vine with slender stems and small arrow-shaped leaves. Pods elongate. Detailed Description.

Photo by Mike Plagens

Robust, erect milkweed found mostly in deep sandy washes in far western Sonoran Desert and the Mojave Desert. Umbels of cream flowers large and nearly spherical. Detailed Description.

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Sonoran Desert Places


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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2012