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Giant Cane Milkweed

Asclepias albicans

Details & Attributes

Plant Type(s) Perennial
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Full sun
Pollinators Butterflies
Has Spines No
In relative feet, width by height
5-9' × 2-4'
Freeze Tolerant No
Flowering Season Year Round
Flower Color White
Minimum Temperature Range 25-30 °F
Leaf Description Thin and shed quickly from the waxy grey stems
Fruit A dry capsule that splits and reveals numerous thin brown seeds with feathery plumes
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Elevation Range 500-2500 ft.
Description Similar to rush milkweed (A. subulata) except that this species can get significantly larger. Plants can be up to 9' tall, with thin greyish branches which typically lack foliage. Giant cane milkweed grows in southwest Arizona in some of the harshest conditions our lovely state has to offer in places like the Kofa Wildlife Refuge, and the Tinajas Altas Mountains. When cultivating this species it is important to provide adequate drainage to mimic the rocky habitats it occupies naturally. In many ways it is helpful to treat this plant as a succulent, and it makes an excellent addition to a cactus and succulent garden, tolerating extreme heat and sun exposure. As with other milkweeds this plant can be attractive to monarch and queen butterflies but the primary pollinators are tarantula hawk wasps which put on an awesome display as they buzz around the clusters of flowers. Be advised, this is not a common plant to find in nureseries so availability may be a limiting factor.