Asclepias asperula (Antelope Horn Milkweed)
Antelope Horn, named for the shape of the leaves, is a perennial that blooms in the spring and in some areas, again in the fall. It's a member of the milkweed family, and a special favorite of the Monarch and Queen butterflies. In the spring the first batch of Monarch caterpillars hatches and they eat their way through as much milkweed as they can! The poisonous milky sap is credited with making the Monarchs distasteful to birds. If you want to attract Monarch butterflies, this is your plant! Oh, and don't spray the caterpillars with pesticide!
Antelope Horns are very hardy. They do best in sandy or gravelly soil, with fast drainage. Plant the seeds where they are to grow, as the deep tap root develops very quickly, giving the plant it's toughness, and resistance to drought. Water only to establish, and during periods of long drought. Beginning in June, severely trim back one plant at a time, to provide fresh foliage for butterfly larvae all summer long.
AT A GLANCE
|Water use||Low, medium|
|Sun exposure||Full sun to part sun|
|Bloom time||Spring, summer|
|Mature height||1-2.5 ft|
|Host plant||Monarch, Queen|
|Poisonous||Roots, sap. Toxic only if eaten in large quantities.|
|Notes||Bumble, honey and native bee friendly. Attracts beneficial insects.|