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.
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.
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.