Think of this as Asclepias subulata on steroids. Whitestem or wax milkweed gets on average about 5-6’ tall, but in favorable conditions it reaches an incredible 10’ tall or more! Asclepias albicans flowers anytime except summer, usually in response to winter rains, with creamy-white flowers. It seems to do most of its growing in the cool season—it is native to the western edge of the Sonoran Desert and the Mojave Desert where we get most if not all of our precipitation in the winter. Asclepias albicans (white-stem milkweed) is a bit stouter with thicker, taller stems than Asclepias subulata (rush/desert milkweed). There are also fewer stems and they are more noticeably waxy-blue. It prefers rocky habitats rather than fine-textured sandy washes. If the stems are not receiving enough sun they can become floppy. Whitestem milkweed especially resents being wet in the summertime. Allow to completely dry out between irrigation. Monarch caterpillars feed exclusively on milkweed. To attract the butterfly also plant a variety of nectar plants close by. Planting in groups of 3 gives caterpillars best chance of survival. May be combined with Asclepias subulata.
Whitestem Milkweed (Asclepias albicans)