Rush Milkweed

Common Names:
Rush Milkweed, Ajamete, Skeleton Milkweed
Scientific name:
Asclepias subulata
Subspecies | Variants:
Asclepias erosa, Asclepias fascicularis, Asclepias albicans
Elevation range:
<2,000 ft.
Flowering Months:
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Height | Length:
2 - 5 ft.
Life Cycle | Lifeform:
Pollinator or food source for:
TOXIC, Attracts native bees, Food for insects & larvae, Attracts butterflies
Ancestral Usage:
State Occurrences:
Desert region:
Mojave, Sonoran

This milkweed, like all members of the Milkweed Family, is important for the survival of the Monarch butterfly, whose numbers have declined precipitously in recent years. Many other insect species depend on milkweeds for nectar.

Rush Milkweed 3

Rush Milkweed in the desert

The inflorescence of Asclepias subulata has an umbel of several flowers. The corolla folds backward to expose hoods and horns (reproductive parts) which are unique to the Asclepiaceae (Milkweed) family. The color of flower parts is yellow to a cream-white.  Box Canyon Rd, CA | December 2013

Rush Milkweed 2

Rush Milkweed in the desert

Asclepias subulata is a small shrub with erect, green, hairless stems that are often bare of leaves. This plant and all of its family members are important to pollinators, particularly Monarch butterflies. Anza Borrego Desert State Park | December 2005