Latin Name: Asclepias speciosa
Common Names: Showy Milkweed
Growth Structure: Erect bush with height to about 3-4 feet
Light Requirement: Full sun/ Part sun
Water Requirement: *
Description: (Description taken from CalScape): Showy milkweed is native to much of the western half of North America. In California it is found in the Sierras and Coast Ranges, from Tulare County to Modoc and Siskiyou Counties. This flowering plant is a hairy, erect perennial that grows to about 4 feet tall. The large, pointed, banana-like leaves are arranged opposite on the stalk-like stem. The fragrant eye-catching furry pale pink to pinkish-purple flowers are arranged in thick umbels. Their petal structure is reflexed and the central flower parts, five hoods with prominent hooks, are star-shaped. The fruit is a large, rough follicle filled with many flat oval seeds with luxuriant silky plumes. It spreads by underground rhizomes, forming an expanding clump. Many Native American peoples utilized all parts of this plant for a great number of medicinal uses and ate some parts as a food. Showy Milkweed is popular with birds and insects, notably the Monarch butterfly. Alkaloids inside the plant are picked up by the caterpillars and give them protection by making them taste awful to predators.