January 23, 2021
California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Asclepias subulata ~ Rush Milkweed, Skeleton Milkweed

Asclepias subulata can be found in the Deserts to the South and East of Los Angeles. Asclepias subulata grows 3-4 feet tall and wide on a variety of soil types but requires dry summer conditions. Asclepias subulata blooms with sprays of white flowers late Spring to Fall if it rains enough, or into summer if it does not. Asclepias subulata loses its leaves early hence the common names Rush Milkweed and Skeleton Milkweed. This plant is being pollinated by the California Hairstreak. The milkweeds are a frequent food and nectar source for native bees and butterflies including the Gray Hairstreak Common Buckeye, Northern White Skipper, Mormon Metalmark, Hedgerow Hairstreak, Great Purple Hairstreak, and Monarch Butterflies. Asclepias erosa is a great addition to the butterfly garden as well as the native wildflower garden. The large wasp is a Tarantula Hawk. The Tarantula Hawk is commonly found feeding on the nectar of many of the native Asclepias species. While they look pretty terrifying they are actually pretty evenly tempered.

Asclepias subulata, Rush Milkweed, Skeleton Milkweed, California Hairstreak

Creamy white Flowers of Asclepias subulata the Rush Milkweed or Skeleton Milkweed being pollinated by a California Hairstreak. 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 Red Butterflies * Red Butterflies 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 fruticosus * Swan Milkweed, Narrow Leaf Cotton Plant
Gomphocarpus physocarpus * Family Jewels, Hairy Balls
Hoya carnosa * Wax Vine