Plant family: Asclepiadaceae - Milkweed
Plant type: Sub-shrub
Plant origin: N/A, California
Grassland, Mountain Meadow
Clay, Decomposed Granite, Sandy Loam, Adaptable
Attracts Wildlife, Tolerant of Clay Soil
Showy Milkweed is a perennial, with 3' tall stems and large furry, grayish green leaves, and clusters of pale pink flowers. It is another ‘must’ for a butterfly garden. During the summer it is covered with monarch caterpillars. It needs sun, is quite drought tolerant, and tolerates alkaline soils. The pollen has self-incompatible alkaloids that give the butterflies that feed on it protection. Alkaloids from the wrong milkweed can expose the butterflies to predation. If the monarch or other butterfly has not evolved with the milkweed they have no tolerance for the particular alkaloid of the species.
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