Asclepias glaucescens
“Nodding Milkweed”

Photo by Bofozt

This super rare milkweed hailing from the Southwest, Baja California and northern Mexico has a unique feature – its summer blooming flower clusters hang upside down, leading to its common name. Groups of ten to twenty 1/4” star-shaped white flowers are tinged green and have pale violet backsides. It is a favorite host plant for the Monarch butterfly as well as a nectar source for other local butterflies. There is great variety in its size, from 10” to 4' tall, with elliptic leaves that are typically 4” long but only 1-2” wide. They are a muted glaucous green with a pale pink center rib. This deciduous milkweed makes a great addition to a pollinator garden, beautifies a dry garden bed or adds subtle charm to neighboring succulents. It produces copious amounts of latex sap, meaning it repels all insects but the butterflies adapted to it, so wear gloves when pruning it. It self-seeds freely, if seedpods are left to mature. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil and give only occasional water once established. Deer and snail resistant.

We are pleased to announce that the California Department of Agriculture has recently lifted its requirement that our nursery use Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), as a naturally occurring biological insecticide (also commonly used on organically grown fruits and vegetables),  as control against LBAM (Light Brown Apple Moth) within the State of California.  As a result we are no longer using BT in our nursery.  Bt was known to be toxic to caterpillars, particularly the Monarch butterfly caterpillar, which is why we had always advised our customers to wait a growing season (or approximately one year) before introducing Monarch caterpillars to any Asclepia (Milkweed) plants  to ensure the plants are large enough to provide sufficient food and the BT has had time to wear off. 

Curious Plantsman

Low/Avg. Water

USDA zones 5-11