This California native milkweed is critical in the life-cycle of the monarch butterfly whose larvae feed on the foliage. It is a virtually carefree perennial that has light green narrow leaves on 3' stalks, with clusters of pinkish white flowers in summer. It is dormant in winter. Milkweed performs best in full sun with well draining, moist or dry soil. It tolerates clay soil, flooding, and drought. It is an outstanding choice for natural and butterfly gardens. Milkweed is poisonous if taken internally and considered invasive in some areas. Mulch heavily after planting, water well the first month, and then ignore. The alkaloids associated with this milkweed and other native milkweeds give the monarch and other butterflies that feed on it protection from predators. Alkaloids from the wrong milkweed (South American, Mexican, etc.) can expose the butterflies to predation.
Very Low, Low
Sandy, Clay, Rocky
Average, Well-drained, Moist, Dry
Heat, Deer, Wet Conditions