Asclepias curassavica L.

Scarlet Milkweed, Bloodflower, Silkweed

Family: Apocynaceae

Genus: Asclepias

Category: Perennial

Zones: 8b to 11

Size: 2 to 3' tall. to 2' wide

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun, Part Shade


Evergreen perennial shrub in zones 9b up, comes back in zone 8b and grown as an annual elsewhere. Flowers are red and orange in clusters from spring to autumn. Milky sap is an irritant.

From Bot. Reg. The seed, buoyed by a silky plume, is wafted far and near like that of our thistles, like that attaches itself to whatever it meets in its course, and separates at last from the plume which has suspended it, to seek the soil and germinate: proving by this habit a troublesome weed.


Published in Sp.Pl. 1: 215 in 1753.

Native to South America.

Published also in Bot. Reg. 1: 81 in 1815.

From Bot. Reg. Grows naturally in the West Indies. In Jamaica it is known by the name of "Wild Ipecacuanha"... Cultivated in 1692 in the Hampton Court Garden.


Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner