Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Matelea producta, Texas Milkvine

Texas Milkvine has small greenish-yellow flowers usually displayed in umbels and seldom solitary. Matelea productaTexas Milkvine with another look at the flowers in an umbel. Plants may grow up a 1 ½ or so. Relatively rare in the United States. Matelea productaTexas Milkvine has an elongated, ovoid fruit, a follicle that is smooth and somewhat reminiscent of the traditional Milkweed pod. Matelea productaTexas Milkvine is twining vine from a woody base with milky sap. The leaves are green triangular-ovate and sagittate-cordate at the base. Matelea productaTexas Milkvine is a host plant to the Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus) larvae. The plant has a chemical which is a natural toxin to birds and small animals but not to the butterfly larvae. Matelea producta

Scientific Name: Matelea producta
Common Name: Texas Milkvine
Also Called:
Family: Asclepiadaceae, Milkweed Family
Synonyms: (Gonolobus productus)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 1½ feet or more via twining vines with slender stems.
Growth Form: Vine; twining vines from woody base; milky sap.
Leaves: Green; leaves up to 5 cm. long and 3 cm. wide; triangular-ovate; sagittate-cordate at base; petioles 1 to 3 cm. long, shorter than the blades.
Flower Color: Greenish yellow; flowers in peduncled umbels, seldom solitary; corolla more than 5 mm. long (common about 10 mm.); fruit a smooth, ovoid follicle.
Flowering Season: May to August.
Elevation: 3,000 to 5,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Desert grasslands, chaparral communities, alluvial thickets.

Recorded Range: Matelea producta is relatively rare in the United States where it is found in small populations in AZ, NM, TX. It is also native to Mexico. In Arizona it is found in the northwest corner, central and southern parts of the state.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Matelea producta.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America there are 32 species and 32 accepted taxa overall for Matelea. World wide, The Plant List includes 259 accepted species names and includes a further 9 infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 5 species of Matelea, California has 1 species, Nevada and Utah each have 0 species, New Mexico has 2 species, Texas has 15 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: Texas Milkvine, Matelea producta, is similar to Spearleaf, Matelea parvifolia, however the leaves and flowers are larger on Texas Milkvine.

Matelea producta has been used for food by southwestern indigenous peoples.
Apache, Chiricahua & Mescalero Food, Unspecified, Seeds eaten fresh or boiled.
See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 10/26/2016, updated format 10/08/2017
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California, as Gonolobus productus.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 10/17/2016)
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 10/17/2016).
Sundell, Eric. 1994. Asclepiadaceae. Journal of the Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science; Volume 27, 169-187.
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information 10/17/2016).