Asclepias eriocarpa

Asclepias eriocarpa, (Woolly Pod Milkweed)

General Description

The plant, except for the flowers, is covered with fine hairs giving it a silvery tint. The hairs on the seed pods are long, giving a woolly appearance, hence the common name. The plant stands erect with flowers born on stout and relatively long pedicels that arise from leaf axils at the top of the plant. The flowers have a waxy odor.


Distribution: CA, NV

Mexico: Baja California

Flower: Pink, white, or cream colored.  Corollas fold back so that the hoods stand erect over them.  Horns come out of the hoods. One umbel, contains 15 +/- flowers and can be 4-5 in (10-13 cm) in diameter.

Foliage: Leaves are opposite or sometimes whorled. Leaf attachment is sessile or has short petiole. Stands erect.  There is a silver tint to the underside of the leaves because of the tiny white hairs that cover the entire plant.

Habitat: Clay soils, dry regions, flats, rocky hillsides, woods, and deserts.

Height: 36-48 in (91 ½ – 122 cm).

Leaves: Leaves are ovate to lance shaped, long 3-5 in (7 ½ – 13 cm), and broad with margins somewhat undulating or rippled. The covering of dense white hairs gives the leaves a greenish/silvery appearance.

Roots: Taproot.

Toxicity: Low.


Blossoming Season: June – August.

Life span: NA

Propagation: By seed.

Pods: Large and covered with dense white hair.

Seed Color: Brown.

Environment and Growth Requirements

Maintenance: Low. Water regularly the first month after planting thereafter as needed.

Overhead Conditions: Not shade tolerant, needs full sun.

Precipitation: Drought tolerant. Less than 8 in to 40 in (20-102 cm) annually.

Soil Texture: Clay soils.

Temperature: Can tolerate a minimum temperature of 10 to 20 Fahrenheit (-12 to -6 Celsius).

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Photos: Bobby Gendron