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Asclepias curassavica

Asclepias curassavica is part of the Apocynaceae family of plants. It is an evergreen sub-shrub. They also call it the Bloodflower, Indian Root, Matac, Matal, Bastard Ipecacuanha, Wild Ipecacuanha, Tropical Milkweed, Scarlet Milkweed, Cotton Bush, Hierba de la Cucaracha, Mexican Butterfly Weed, Sunset Flower, or Swallow Wort.

Asclepias curassavica
Asclepias curassavica

Its origin seems to be the Caribbean, South America, Central America, and Mexico. Asclepias curassavica usually grows to about 4ft or 1.2m tall.

It has lance-shaped, deep green, opposite leaves. It produces a milky sap-like all Milkweed family members. Asclepias curassavica flowers in summer and autumn, producing terminal umbel-like flowers. The flowers are orangish-red with a crowning bright yellow corona that looks like another set of petals. Ovoid-shaped fruits follow the flowers. The fruit is about 8cm or 3in long.

Asclepias curassavica
Asclepias curassavica

How to grow Asclepias curassavica:

Grow Asclepias curassavica in the full sun. Plant it in moist, loamy, and fertile, but well-drained soil. Propagate by seed, division, or basal cuttings. It is generally disease-free, watch out for whiteflies, especially if you keep it in the greenhouse. The flowers attract bees and butterflies. Asclepias curassavica attracts Monarch butterflies for egg-laying. It is deer resistant and rabbit resistant. In tropical climates, it flowers all year.

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I am a flower enthusiast and a gardener at heart. Ever since childhood I loved reading about plants and started gardening at an early age. First by helping my father in the garden and later managing a large garden myself in my teen years. I planted and cared for a large number of plants, flowers, and trees both outdoors and in a greenhouse. To this day I enjoy visiting gardens and parks and learning about new and old specimens and varieties of plants.

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