Grazing Oklahoma: Antelope horn

By Josh Gaskamp

Characteristics: Antelope horn is a native, perennial milkweed. Like the name implies, mature seed pods evident in the latter half of summer curve upward, resembling antelope horns. The pods burst open and expose seeds covered in long silky hairs that allow them to float on wind and water. Mowed or opened seed pods expose huge masses of silk that can be observed from great distances. Like other milkweeds, antelope horn has a thick white milky sap in the leaves and stems that is very sticky and resembles Elmer’s glue. Antelope horn flowers are greenish-white with some maroon in the center. Leaves fold upward in the shape of a boat and often have wavy margins. The plant has a large central taproot from which one to 15 stems emerge.

Habitat: Antelope horn is common in pastures, prairies, and roadsides throughout Oklahoma and Texas. It prefers disturbed areas or those with little vegetative competition, so shallow, rocky soils often have abundant antelope horn.

Learn more about Antelope horn in the November issue of OKFR!