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Rush Milkweed, Desert Milkweed

Asclepias subulata

Family: Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Asclepias (ass-KLE-pee-us) (Info)
Species: subulata (sub-yoo-LAH-tuh) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Pale Yellow

White/Near White


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Casa Grande, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Yuma, Arizona

Yorba Linda, California

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 2, 2014, awapala from Yuma, AZ wrote:

Where can I purchase Desert Milkweed, and how/when would I go about planting it in Yuma, Arizona?


On Jul 1, 2008, kittysue from Fairborn, OH wrote:

I collected my seed while in Las Vegas. I mixed a pot of 2/3 well composted cow manure (very fine black crumbly), and 1/3 all purpose sand. Easy to germinate "if seed is viable". Must keep seedlings consistently moist -- I've lost three seedlings to thinking it is a desert plant and watering inconsistently.

No stratification of seed needed for this species. It will drop it's leaves during drought and continues to photosynthesis via the branches. I've seen Queen caterpillars hosted on this species outside Pheonix, and I've read it is a host plant for the Monarch.
I am hoping to find a Monarch caterpillar on mine, but since I collect milkweeds, I doubt the few Monarch butterflies we get a year will pass the many milkweed species in the yard.

I keep my pla... read more


On Sep 22, 2004, Xenomorf from Valley of the Sun, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

Monarch butterfly's like it as food.
Needs well drained soil.
It has milky sap.
Starting from seed is easy, but I haven't tried it 'yet'.