Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Antelope Horns (Asclepias asperula)


 And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud 
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.--Anais Nin 


For most of the year,  Antelope Horns lie close to the ground, nondescript green leaves in meadows and roadsides.  Until Spring, when a stalk of buds rears, opening multi-blossom heads of otherworld beauty, March - October.  This member of the milkweed family, poisonous to animals and people, is host to monarch and queen butterflies and banquet to bees.  

The native range is from central Kansas south to Texas and Mexico, west to southern Idaho and southeast California.  The plants prefer moderate water, sporting more blooms in the Hill Country in years with rain.  Sunny locations are best, in well-drained caliche, loam, sand, and clay.  

Eventually aphids will colonize and Monarch caterpillars consume but the plant endures and flushes again when nature blesses.

Copyright 2009-2010 Kathleen Scott ,for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

12 comments :

Ms. Moon said...

Perfect. From picture to quote to finish.

N2 said...

Oh My! Now that is a member of the milkweed family that I have not seen before. Gorgeous flower, beautiful picture. Thanks, Kathleen! x0 N2

chinnb said...

Great picture! I've not seen any in bloom yet, but now I will be looking.

Andrea said...

Hi Kath, Asclepias sp is a plant i know only in my readings as food for some caterpillars, however it is just now i realized it is a very beautiful flower. How far is it from the ground and what is the umbel's diameter? It also looks so special. thanks.

dianne said...

It is very pretty Kathleen, I have never seen one, you do have some lovely and unusual plants at Hill Country. xoxo ♡

TexasDeb said...

This plant is a favorite of mine lessened not one whit by the fact I cannot get it to grow on my property but am forced to enjoy it roadside during the annual show it provides. A true Lone Star for me.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I've never seen this plant before. How beautiful it is.

Love,

SB

deb said...

It's seriously gorgeous.
I'm off to google for more images....

Birdwoman said...

Lovely. I have several asclepias but I wasn't familiar with this one. Maybe I need to make room for it.

Elizabeth said...

That's an astounding flower. And I love the quote you've chosen to go with it -- so apt!

Me said...

Oh wow! It's so NEAT looking! I want one . . .

Bluestem said...

We seem to have many of the same plants in our gardens. I have not had any caterpillars on my antelope horns, but I do get aphids and milkweed bugs. Great picture!