Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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Carol A. Hoffman

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, vine; sap milky
Leaves simple, generally opposite or whorled; stipules 0 or small
Inflorescence: cyme, terminal or axillary, umbel- or raceme-like, or flower solitary
Flower bisexual, radial; sepals 5, generally reflexed; petals 5, generally reflexed or spreading; stamens 5, fused to form filament column and anther head, generally with 5 elaborate appendages on outside of filament column, pollen removed in pairs of massive sacs; ovaries 2, superior, free, style tips generally fused into massive pistil head surrounded by anther head
Fruit: follicle (1 ovary generally aborts)
Seeds many, ± flat, with tuft of silky hairs
Genera in family: 50–250 genera, 2000–3000 species: especially tropical, subtropical South America, s Africa; ornamental (Asclepias, Hoya, Stapelia). Cardiac glycosides produced by some; used as arrow poisons, in medicine to control heart contraction, and by some insects for defense
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to be included within Apocynaceae



Annual, perennial herb, shrub
Stem prostrate to erect
Leaves alternate, opposite, or whorled; blade narrowly linear to ovate or cordate
Inflorescence: umbel-like, generally terminal and in (especially upper) axils
Flower: ring of tissue at base of corolla 0; filament-column appendages (hoods) free, sometimes elevated above corolla base, each often with an elongate projection (horn) attached to inside, solid, margins curved in and meeting or nearly meeting on side adjacent to column but not fused; top of pistil head flat or conic
Fruit generally erect (pedicel generally pendent), narrowly ovoid, smooth or with tubercles
Species in genus: 100 species: Am
Etymology: (Asklepios, ancient Greek physician)
Reference: [Woodson 1954 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 41:1–211]


A. speciosa Torr.


Perennial, hairy
Stem ascending to erect
Leaves opposite, persistent; petiole short; blade elliptic to ovate, base rarely cordate and clasping stem
Flower: corolla reflexed, rose-purple; hoods slightly elevated above corolla base, >> anther head, pink, aging yellow; horns exserted, << hoods, ± = anther head
Ecology: Many habitats including fields, roadsides
Elevation: 0–1900 m.
Bioregional distribution: California
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, c Canada, Texas
Flowering time: May–Jul
Synonyms: A. giffordii Eastw. (see Gilmartin 1980 Bull Torrey Bot Club 104:496–505)
Horticultural information: SUN, DRN: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17 &IRR: 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; STBL, INV.

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bioregional map for ASCLEPIAS%20speciosa being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Asclepias speciosa
Retrieve dichotomous key for Asclepias
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
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