Asclepias linaria

Milkweed Tiger Moth

Lerina incarnata

Pen & Ink © by Michael Plagens

This pen & ink was drawn from a specimen found at Molino Canyon, Sta. Catalina Mts., AZ, on 18 April 1994. The moth was reared from a caterpillar found on the same plant. At lower left is an enlarged view of one flower; ten to twenty small flowers are borne in an umbel arrangement at the top of the plant. A pair of opened, dried fruit hulls remain attached to the stem at bottom right. The comose seeds have long since been carried away on the wind.

RANGE: Pretty much restricted to the mountains of eastern Pinal and Pima Counties above 1000 m.

LEAVES: The wand-like stems are densely clothed in stiff pine needle-like leaves. The plant may even be mistaken for a conifer until breaks in the stems ooze the white sap characteristic of milkweeds.

SHRUB: This evergreen shrub with 20 or more unbranched stems is typically 70 cm tall.


FLOWERS: Twenty or more five-pointed flowers borne in umbels near the apices of the growing stems.

FRUIT: Paired ovaries develop from a fertilized flower. After the comose seeds have been dispersed by the wind the stiff, empty capsules may adhere to the plant until the following season.

Family: Asclepiadaceae

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-07