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ID this mystery AZ native shrub

Posted by dwpc 7 - N Arizona (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 26, 12 at 0:47

We live in N. AZ (Zone 7) at 4500 feet. Can someone ID this shrub. There are several of these in the open in the vacant lot across the road. The picture shows a branch end. The largest one is about 24" tall and wide. Very attractive and unlike most of our natives. Evergreen. The slender waxy leaves are about 3" lg. Reminds me of a Japanese Yew. I'm wondering if they're volunteers from a local yard. I'd like to transplant a couple into my seminatural lot.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: ID this mystery AZ native shrub

I would suggest trying this question on the Name That Plant Forum here on GW - it's much livelier than this one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Name That Plant


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RE: ID this mystery AZ native shrub

Looks like a milkweed to me.


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I think "Az. Milkweed" is correct.

  • Posted by dwpc 7 - N Arizona (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 26, 12 at 10:49

An unfortunate name for a lovely plant. I found many basic descriptions, but little on care. Do you know if it will transplant easily? Here's a photo showing whole bush


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RE: ID this mystery AZ native shrub

If it's a milkweed, it's an Asclepias. I don't know which one it would be, don't recognize it at all. There are a few dozen, but probably only a few that would occur on their own in AZ. One characteristic is white milky sap. But that's also a characteristic of Euphorbias. HTH you narrow it down.

As for care, it doesn't seem to need any. It should make some kind of seed pods but they may already be gone this year. Generally, as plants with long tap roots, Asclepias are known for resenting transplanting.


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RE: ID this mystery AZ native shrub

Most milkweeds will have that white latex sap if you cut a leaf or stem. And BTW, be careful with that sap...some people have rashes if they come in contact with it. It could also cause a serious eye problem if any of it accidentally gets in your eyes. Wash your hands or skin well if you have contact with the sap. Ask me how I know that...
There's exceptions to the milkweed resisting transplanting rule, but yes, almost all are very difficult to transplant.


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RE: ID this mystery AZ native shrub

The plants should grow rather easily from seed. Just collect seed pods that are beginning to break open.
In AZ there are 30 native species! Here is the list:
A. albicans, A. angustifolia,
A. asperula, A. brachystephana,
A. cryptoceras, A. cutleri,
A. englemanniana, A. erosa,
A. glaucescens, A. hallii,
A. hyperleuca, A. involucrata,
(A. latifolia), A. lemmonii,
(A. linaria), A. macrotis,
A. nummularia, (A. nyctaginifolia),
A. oenotheroides, A. quinquedentata,
A. rusbyi, A. scaposa,
(A. speciosa), (A. subulata),
A. subverticillata, (A. tuberosa) ?? ,
A. uncialis, A. verticillata,
A. viridiflora, A. welshii

The names in ( ) are not your plant but
A. tuberosa looks very close and may be ??
This info is compiled from the USDA and CalPhoto databases.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA database on Asclepias


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RE: ID this mystery AZ native shrub

It doesn't look like Asclepias tuberosa to me. Leaves in the pic are too narrow for that one.


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