California milkweed, Asclepias californica
States grown: CA
California milkweed grows in lower northern California, central and southern California as well as into northern Baja California. It is an important monarch butterfly caterpillar host plant. It is a perennial and has thick wooly stems that are low to the ground and bending upwards.
View California milkweed observations on iNaturalist
View California milkweed plant information at Wildflower.org
View California milkweed plant information at Plants.USDA.gov
First visit to a patch of California milkweed
Each May the disturbed soil in southern California comes to life. Woolly stems of Asclepias californica burst up and blossom. May 6th 2023 I convinced my friends at Caterpillar Chow to show me a secret location where the plants were happily growing. These are the photos.