Asclepias linaria – Pineneedle Milkweed

Asclepias linaria - Pineneedle Milkweed, Pine-Needle Milkweed, Needle-Leaf Milkweed (flowers and a Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus) butterfly)

Asclepias linaria - Pineneedle Milkweed, Pine-Needle Milkweed, Needle-Leaf Milkweed (seed capsules)

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Asclepias linaria

Common Names: Pineneedle Milkweed, Pine-Needle Milkweed, Needle-Leaf Milkweed

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Subshrub, Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland

Flower Color: White

Flowering Season: Spring, Summer, Fall (early)

Height: To 5 feet (1.5 m) tall, but usually less

Description: The flowers are in umbel-like, terminal clusters and have 5 reflexed petals and an erect hood that extends beyond the central column. The flower buds are pink. The seed capsules are teardrop-shaped and 2 inches (5 cm) long. The leaves densely line the stems and are dark green, narrowly linear, and resemble pine needles.

Special Characteristics

Butterfly Plant – The flowers attract butterflies, and it is one of the food plants for Queen (Danaus gilippus) butterfly caterpillars. Seeds and plants are available in native plant nurseries, and it is a good choice for sunny, well-drained xeriscape or butterfly gardens.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Gentianales
Family: Asclepiadaceae – Milkweed family
Genus: Asclepias L. – milkweed
Species: Asclepias linaria Cav. – pineneedle milkweed

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map
Pine-Needle Milkweed (Asclepias linaria) – The Firefly Forest