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Asclepias albicans facts for kids

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Asclepias albicans
Scientific classification

Asclepias albicans is a species of milkweed known by the common names whitestem milkweed and wax milkweed. It is native to the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of California, Arizona, and Baja California. This is a spindly erect shrub growing usually 1 to 3 meters tall, but known to approach four meters. The sticklike branches are mostly naked, the younger ones coated in a waxy residue and a thin layer of woolly hairs. Leaves are ephemeral, growing in whorls of three on the lower branches and falling off after a short time. They are linear in shape and up to 3 centimeters long. The inflorescence is an umbel appearing at the tips of the long branches and sprouting from the sides at nodes. The inflorescence contains many small purple-tinted greenish flowers, each with a central array of bulbous hoods, and corollas reflexed back against the stalk. The plant may flower in any season except summer. The fruit is a large, long, thick follicle which dangles in bunches from the branch nodes.

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