California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

Asclepias cordifolia * Purple Milkweed

The Purple Milkweed is one of the showstoppers of the Sierra Nevada meadows. Asclepias cordifolia blooms in early July with beautiful red and white flowers and purple foliage. The Purple Milkweed grows up to the elevation of 6500 feet. The milkweeds are the local food and nectar source of the Acmon Blue, Gray Hairstreak, Common Buckeye, Northern White Skipper, Mormon Metalmark, Great Purple Hairstreak, Hedgerow Hairstreak, California Common Ringlet, Giant Swallowtail, and Monarch Butterflies and the Monarchs were common around the Purple Milkweed while I was taking the pictures too. This is a great addition to the butterfly garden. I find it rather satisfying when I read of an association in a field guide and then find it visually confirmed in the field as well.

Asclepias cordifolia, Purple Milkweed

Flowers of Asclepias cordifolia the Purple 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 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