This is one part in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Arboretum “New Front Yard” series, 41 drought-tolerant and beautiful plants well adapted to our region.
Size: Under 3 feet tall.
Bloom season: Summer.
Pruning needs: Little or none; cut back in winter to renew.
Exposure: Full sun.
Water needs: Once established, water deeply twice a month.
Snapshot: This may be the ultimate butterfly magnet –especially for the beloved Monarch. Milkweeds are a primary food source for Monarch caterpillars. And this Baja California native can make a pretty addition to the low-water garden, too. The summer flowers, which appear in clusters, are pinkish white and attract butterflies from June through September. The attractive foliage is a pale green with fine, narrow leaves. Milkweed tolerates heat and drought, but can’t stand shade; it needs full sun. Happy in sandy or clay soil, this easy-care perennial also adapts well to slopes. See specimens in the UC Davis Arboretum’s Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California Native Plants on the UC Davis campus.• For more on the New Front Yard, click on arboretum.ucdavis.edu.
See photo galleries of the arboretum’s Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars at sacbee.com/home_garden .