Yosemite Home » Yosemite Wildflower Guide » White Flowers » Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa)
Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) flower cluster in Yosemite Valley

Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa)

Family:  Dogbane (Apocynaceae) (formerly Milkweed / Asclepiadaceae)

Where to find it:  Along roadsides and in meadows throughout the eastern half of Yosemite Valley. It's very common here in the early summer - so widespread that it merits its own episode of Yosemite Nature Notes (see below), well worth watching if you're interested enough in this flower that you have, for instance, visited a web page about it.

Blooms:  May - July

Lifespan:  Perennial

Origins:  Native (see distribution maps for California and US/Canada)

Asclepias speciosa etymology:  Asclepias is named for Asclepius, Greek god of healing, due to the medicinal uses of members of the genus. Please note that this particular member contains poison. Speciosa derives from the Latin term speciosus, meaning beautiful, attractive, or just generally good-looking.

This photo:  In Yosemite Valley near Curry Village, mid June

Other Resources:   CalFlora  ·  CalPhotos  ·  USDA  ·  Jepson eFlora

Yosemite Nature Notes: Monarchs & Milkweed

More Photos