Plant: perennial herb; stems erect or ascending, unbranched, 20-80 cm tall, short woolly to more or less glabrate; milky sap Leaves: opposite, subsessile or the petioles to 10 mm long, the blades nearly circular to mostly broadly elliptic, 5-14 cm long, 4-12 cm broad, broadly rounded to subcordate at the base, broadly rounded to truncate or retuse at the apex, apiculate, short woolly when young, in age more or less glabrate on both surfaces INFLORESCENCE: UMBELS lateral at most of the upper nodes, persistently short woolly, (4-)5-8 cm broad, subsessile or the peduncles to 2(-3) cm long Flowers: large; calyx lobes ca. 4 mm long; corolla greenish, the lobes 7-10 mm long; hoods whitish to yellow-brown, erect or uncommonly ascending, mostly oblong-quadrate, truncate at the apex, 3-4 mm high, 2-3 mm broad, about as long as the gynostegium, the horns radially flat, fused nearly the full length of the hoods, triangular to sickle-shaped, abruptly incurved and short-exserted; anther wings 2.7-3.2 mm long; corpusculum 0.4-0.5 mm long, the pollinia 1.7-1.9 mm long Fruit: FOLLICLES erect on deflexed pedicels, 7-9 cm long Misc: Canyons and rocky slopes, desert grasslands, spreading to roadsides; 750-2150 m (2500-7000 ft); Jun-Sep REFERENCES: Sundell, Eric. 1994. Asclepiadaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. Volume 27, 169-187.
Sundell 1993, Woodson 1954, Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougall 1973, Nabhan et al 2015
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous perennials to 80 cm tall; stems stout, erect, unbranched, leafy; plants with milky sap. Leaves: Opposite, subsessile; blades thick, orbicular to ovate, to 15 cm long and 12 cm wide, mucronate or notched at the tips, cordate at the base, dark green above, lighter in color beneath. Leaves appear large compared to the rest of the plant, often extending upwards to loosely cup the inflorescence. Flowers: Cream-yellow and green, in 2-4 subsessile umbels, 5-8 cm broad, short-wooly, terminal and in upper leaf axils; corollas 5-lobed, the lobes 7-10 mm long, reflexed in anthesis; calyx small and 5-lobed; the flowers with a 5-lobed crown between the corolla and the stamens; lobes hoodlike, cream-colored and tinted purplish without, with triangular or sickle-shaped hornlike projections from a broad, flattened crest; stamens inserted on the corolla tube, the filaments connate into a tube. Fruits: Follicles 5-7 cm long, ovoid, smooth, borne erect on deflexed pedicels. Seeds compressed, with long tufts of hairs at the tips. Ecology: Found on plains, praries, mesas, canyons rocky slopes, desert grasslands, and along roadsides, from 2,500-7,000 ft (762-2134 m); flowering June-September. Distribution: Ranges across Nebraska to Texas and west to southern Utah and Arizona as far as eastern California. Notes: This plant appears somewhat cabbage-like with its thick, rounded, dark green leaves, the leaves appearing loosely whorled around the stem and often extending upwards to surround the inflorescence of creamy white or yellowish inflorescences. Toxic to livestock. Seeds average 56,640 per pound. This species is frequently covered with ants which appears to be a detriment to monarch larvae. Ethnobotany: The ground leaf and stem powder was inhaled for catarrh. Etymology: Asclepias is named for the Greek God of healing Asklepios; latifolia means having wide leaves. Synonyms: Aclepias jamesii, Asclepias obtusifolia var. latifolia Editor: LCrumbacher 2011, SBuckley 2014, AHazelton 2015