PRAIRIE MILKWEED
File Size: 77 KB
 
Asclepias hirtella   (Pennell ) Woods.
Cherokee County, Kansas
Perennial
Height: 10-50 inches
Family: Apocynaceae - Dogbane Family
Flowering Period:   June, July, August, September
Stems: Erect, simple or branched. Plants minutely pubescent, not glaucous; sap milky.
Leaves: Mostly alternate; petiole to .28 inch; blade linear to linear-lanceolate, 2.2 to 6 inches long, .12 to .6 inch wide, margins entire, tip acute to acuminate.
Inflorescences: Umbel-like cymes, (1-)2-10, usually axillary, 25-100-flowered.
Flowers: .25 to .4 inch long, .16 to .25 inch wide; calyx lobes lanceolate to triangular, .06 to .12 inch; corolla pale green tinged purple, lobes 5, elliptic-lanceolate, reflexed, .12 to .2 inch; hoods 5, brownish green to green, erect, .06 to .08 inch, margins entire, apex rounded; horns absent.
Fruits: Pods narrowly spindle-shaped, 2.4 to 6 inches long, .4 to .8 inch wide, smooth, minutely pubescent; seeds ovate, .27 to .35 inch; tufted with tan hairs 1.4 to 1.6 inch long.
Habitat: Mesic tallgrass prairies.
Distribution: East 1/4 of Kansas
Origin: Native
Comments: For Aesculapius, the Greek god of medicine, and hirtella, "with short, stiff hairs". Formerly treated as Asclepiadaceae - Milkweed Family.

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