Engelmann's Milkweed
Asclepias engelmanniana

Photo Citations

Naturedigger would like to thank the following individual for his contributions to the Engelmann's milkweed (Asclepias engelmanniana) identification slide:

Flower and Pod images provided by: Max Licher, SEINet (cropped), SEINnet Citation

Leaf and Stem Image by: Chuck Sexton; iNaturalist observation (cropped)CC BY-NC 4.0

Asclepias engelmanniana Profile

Common Name(s):

Engelmann's milkweed

Scientific Name:

Asclepias engelmanniana


Native Range:



USDA Symbol:




• sandy, rocky or limestone soils

• creeks and canyons

• open pine forests and woodlands

• shortgrass prairies


Growing Conditions:

• dry, well-drained soil

• full sun


Plant Height:
• 1-5 feet (0.3-1.5 meters) tall


Stem Description:

• tall and thick

• multiple stems branching from the ground

• may be green, reddish or brownish


Leaf Description: 

• linear

• 2-10 inches (5-25 centimeters) long; 0.04-0.3 inch (1-8 millimeters) wide

• sparse

• closer together near the lower third

• sessile (no petiole), and does not clasp

• may be folded inward from mid vein


Leaf Arrangement:

• alternate becoming whorled as progress up the stem


Leaf Margin:

• entire


Leaf Surface:

• glabrous (hairless) to slightly hairy


Flowering Period:

• June through September

Flower Description:

• umbel on thick peduncles or sessile

• umbel is approximately 2 inches (5 centimeters ) wide

• flowers near upper portion of stem at leaf nodes

• hoods are broad, saclike and are positioned close to the central column

• horns attached near the middle of the hoods, but not visible


Flower Color:

• pale green to yellow

• tinges of purple on the underside of petals near the tips


Pod Description:

• erect on deflexed pedicels

• curved and conical

• up to 6 inches (2.4 centimeters) long with lengthwise wrinkles and a pointed tip

• greenish, but turns tan with age

• smooth or slightly hairy


Other Information:

• recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of native bees (including honey and bumble bees)

• named for American botanist George Engelmann

• endangered in Iowa




To Locate and Purchase Seeds (when available):


Xerces Society Milkweed Seed Finder 


Milkweed and Wildflower Vendors


Grow Milkweed Plants



For More Information About This Species Visit:


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center


Arizona Cooperative Extension


USDA Plants Database


Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses


SEINet Portal Network