Aster Height OR.

Aster Height OR.

Aster Height

Narrowleaf milkweed or Mexican whorled milkweed is a flowering perennial sending up many thin, erect stems and bearing distinctive long pointed leaves which are very narrow and often whorled about the stem, giving the plant its common names. It blooms in clusters of lavender or lavender-tinted white flowers which have five reflexed lobes that extend down away from the blossom. The fruits are smooth milkweed pods which split open to spill seeds along with plentiful silky hairs. This plant is common in the western United States and has the potential to become weedy.


Milkweeds in general are the larval host plants for Monarch butterflies, and this species is probably the single most important host plant for Monarch butterflies in California. Milkweed gardeners should be prepared for the plant to be eaten by Monarch caterpillars, but will be rewarded by the presence of beautiful Monarch Butterflies. The plant is deciduous in winter and will sometimes die back to the ground before reviving in the Spring, and is often covered with aphids, so often best to plant in less prominent spots in a garden. Works well with a wide variety of other plants, but is best used where its winter leaf loss and summer consumption by caterpillars will not be the center of attention. Also, plant a number of Milkweeds in proximity so that caterpillars will have a sufficient amount to eat. Use with showy, nectar-rich plants that will attract adult Monarchs, such as Indian Mallow (Abutilon palmeri), Ceanothus sp., Western Thistle (Cersium occidentale), California Aster (Corethrogyne filaginifolia), California Fuchsia (Epilobium canum), Buckwheat (Eriogonum sp.), Mint (Monardella sp.), Monkeyflower (Mimulus sp.), Penstemon sp., Sages (Salvia sp.), Apricot Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua).

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.Adaptable to high and low water, heat and any garden soil – including CLAY – this is probably the easiest CA native Milkweed you can grow. Many branching stems and long narrow leaves make a nice bushy 3' x 3' form topped with plentiful and pretty 2" creamy-pink clusters from June to Sept. Another very important host plant for Monarch butterfly caterpillars and nectar source for other butterflies as well. Gets bigger and better every year and can spread to form small colonies. Deer resistant! Ships dormant until April. (Source: www.anniesannuals.com)



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