South California, west Arizona, Nevada and extreme southwest Utah
Roadsides, washes, sandy places in deserts; up to 5,000 feet
Opposite, stalkless, lanceolate to ovate, up to 6 inches long
Asclepias erosa, desert milkweed, is a plant of the Mojave Desert, found in open, sandy locations. The stems and the spherical flower clusters are light green to yellow in color, while the leaves are darker grey-green. Leaves and stems may be hairless to very hairy. The plant is a tall species, reaching heights of 3 feet or more, with the flowers borne at the tip of the stout, erect stem, and at the upper leaf nodes. Like all milkweed species, the stems contain milky sap. The large leaves are somewhat curved upwards along the axis, and may have wrinkled edges.
Flowers have five petals, which open fully, sometimes bending backwards to a degree, enclosing a five-pronged crown which contains the reproductive parts at the center. The five projections (hoods) are hollow, and each contains a small horn.