Texas Milkweed Photos                          Asclepias latifolia                broadleaf milkweed   pg 5

Some of our notes and points of interest concerning Asclepias latifolia.                                  

DescriptionAsclepias latifolia has very broad, thick, waxy leaves.  The opposite leaves are oval,
almost circular,  and on a mature plant over four inches in diameter.  The "point" at the tip of each leaf
is "indented".  The plants grow from a tuber with a single stem often to over two feet and at times to
three feet.  At times there are three to five stems from the same tuber.  We have seen a few instances
of branching.  A mature plant can be almost twelve inches wide and reminds us of a head of cabbage
that is growing out of control vertically. 
Flowers:  The flowers of the Asclepias latifolia are arranged in an umbel cluster.  The five
yellow-green, almost lime green, pedals of each flower are reflexed downward.  The hoods start
white with a hint of light green or yellow and then turn yellow as they mature.  With imagination these
will look like white kernels of corn that become yellow in a few days ... "corn-kernel" milkweed.
Prominent horns can be seen extending from these rather plump hoods almost straight across the pale
green central column.  The seed pods can also be seen from the photos to be rather plump, lightly
ridged but smooth.                  

Range:  We documented Asclepias latifolia growing this week (week of August 6, 2001) in areas
from Eden (Concho County) and Santa Anna (Coleman County) northwest to the Sweetwater area
(Nolan County) then northwest along US84 to Snyder (Scurry County), Post (Garza County), and
to the city limits of Lubbock (Lubbock County).  Counties from north to southeast:  Lubbock, Lynn,
Garza, Scurry, Mitchell, Nolan, Taylor, Runnels, Coleman, and Concho. 

Habitat:   In the counties mentioned, we usually found Asclepias latifolia along the roadsides and
right-of-ways that have been mowed.  At times we have found it in abundance in pastures that are
grazed short or mowed, hay meadows that are mowed at least once a year, and even along fence
lines.  The soil where we have found it growing is usually sandy, gravelly, calcareous.  There are
even a few instances where we found it growing through the caliche on a west Texas gravel road.

Photos and website by Harlen E. and Altus Aschen      Copyright (c) 2001
May be reproduced and used for educational purposes.    Data:  Monarch Watch Milkweed Guide