Rush Milkweed, Skeleton Milkweed

Asclepias subulata

Rush milkweed, Skeleton Milkweed

Color: Yellowish to greenish white

Common name: Rush milkweed, Skeleton Milkweed

Latin name: Asclepias subulata


Height: 2-5 ft. tall

Description: Many to several hundred grey-green rush-like stems grow from a perennial root. 6.5 to 13 mm cream-coloured flowers produced in umbels at or near the terminal end of the stems.

Leaf: Opposite, blade narrowly linear, ephemeral — meaning the leaves are rarely seen.

Range: Desert mountains, Mojave Desert, Sonoran Desert.

Habitat: Creosote Bush Scrub, desert, arroyos, washes. Often seen along the edge of washes in the low, hot portion of the Colorado and Eastern Mojave deserts.

Elevation: < 700 m.

Flowering time: Apr–Dec

Notes: Photographed Oct. 14, 2007 on a desert road near Oatman, Ariz. A perennial herb that is native to California and is also found outside of California to Nevada, Arizona, n Mexico, but is confined to western North America. The sap has been analyzed and found to contain rubber. In Mexico, the toxic milky juice is used as an emetic and purgative. This milkweed is particularly noticable as it sways in the breeze on slender stems.

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Photo tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.

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