California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Asclepias californica * California Milkweed

California Milkweed grows in California's foothills and inland valleys in the lower 2/3 of the state. This photo was taken in May along the Kern River where Asclepias californica is quite plentiful and the red flowers striking. Seed was still young, mature seed would be more likely a little later in the season. The soil in that area is sandy well drained decomposed granite. There are a number of insect associations with milkweed that are quite interesting to observe as the milkweeds are quite toxic to most that might feed on it. Asclepias californica is a food and nectar source for the Monarch Butterfly, Acmon Blue, Common Buckeye, Northern White Skipper, Mormon Metalmark, Great Purple Hairstreak, and the Gray Hairstreak, and a great addition to the butterfly garden and the native wildflower garden.

Asclepias californica, California Milkweed

Flowers and foliage of Asclepias californica the California Milkweed. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

Asclepias californica, California Milkweed

Flowers and foliage of Asclepias californica the California Milkweed. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

Asclepias californica seedpod, California Milkweed

Seedpod of Asclepias californica the California Milkweed with a flower attached. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

Asclepias californica seeds emerging from pod, California Milkweed

Seeds emergig from pod of Asclepias californica the California Milkweed. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

Tarantula Hawks, Carpenter Bees and Yellow Faced Bumblebees feeding on nectar from Asclepias eriocarpa, Woollypod Milkweed. Milkweeds are important to so much more wildlife beyond butterflies. High resolution videos are part of our garden image collection.

Plants from the old Asclepidacea Family featured on this site. This is now considered a subfamily in the Apocynaceae Family or Dogbane Family. This is relevant because these plants are nectar and caterpillar food for the Monarch Butterflies:
Asclepias angustifolia * Arizona Milkweed
Asclepias californica * California Milkweed
Asclepias cordifolia * Purple Milkweed
Asclepias curassavica * Tropical Milkweed
Asclepias curassavica Silky Gold * Silky Gold Tropical Milkweed
Asclepias eriocarpa * Woollypod Milkweed, Indian Milkweed, Kotolo Milkweed
Aslepias erosa * Desert Milkweed
Asclepias fascicularis * Narrow Leaf Milkweed
Asclepias linaria * Pine Needle Milkweed
Asclepias speciosa * Showy Milkweed
Asclepias subulata * Rush Milkweed, Skeleton Milkweed
Asclepias tuberosa * Butterfly Weed
Other milkweed relatives:
Araujia sericifera * Bladder Vine, Cruel Vine, Moth Vine
Gomphocarpus physocarpus * Family Jewels, Hairy Balls
Hoya carnosa * Wax Vine