11 responses to “Asclepias curassavica”

  1. Anna

    Thank you for this timely entry. The gorgeous Asclepias tuberosa in my garden is just coming into bloom and I will look at its features with more clarity now. I planted it in my front garden many years ago, hoping to attract more butterflies and I’ve grown to admire the plant for its somewhat unique colour and form (not to mention those groovy seedpods). Interestingly, the butterflies still seem to prefer the more mundane plant variety in my backyard, but the bees just love the Asclepias in my frontyard.

  2. Jo

    Thanks for this valuable information. Fortunately, this tropical Asclepias will not grow for me. I will be sticking with growing the native milkweeds instead from now on.

  3. Jane Finch-Howell

    I just learned of the issue with A. curavassica and Monarch butterflies this week and was pleased to see that you discussed it in this entry. I love the flowers of Tropical Milkweed but I will stick to the perennial A. tuberosa for orange in my Portland, Oregon garden from now on.

  4. PAT

    Same here tuberosa just bought it the other day, it will be planted along the other milkweed Asclepias syriaca or common milkweed . the flowers are beautiful and scented .Amazing plant

  5. Nadia

    Would this plant survive if planted at UBC garden?

    1. Ginny

      Nadia, I just quickly looked it up in Dave’s Garden, but according to that web site A. curassavica is hardy to zone 8a. It doesn’t have a chance of overwintering here in southern Maine (Zone 5), so after some agonizing a few years ago when I first heard of this problem, I do plant it as an annual, since there is no chance it will keep butterflies in Maine too long. If I’m mistaken about this, I would appreciate being corrected.

      As for the comparisons among the milkweeds, besides A. curassavica I grow a large patch of the common A. syriaca and several smaller patches of A. incarnata, Swamp milkweed, and A. tuberosa, Orange milkweed. This is far from scientific too, but it’s clear the Monarchs (the few we get this far north) as well as Fritillaries and many other native pollinators greatly prefer A. incarnata over the others; there are also far more Monarch larvae on the Swamp milkweed. There is a white form, but most pollinators seem to ignore it.

  6. Therese Romer

    I first saw the flowering plant in the Warsaw Botanical Garden. Thank you for the interesting write up!

    The name A. curassavica refers to Curacao, does it not ? I wonder whether it originated there ?

  7. michael aman

    Several years ago in a friend’s waterside garden, I saw common milkweed growing next to swamp milkweed (A. incarnata). A half-dozen monarch caterpillars were riddling the leaves of swamp milkweed, but the common milkweed went untouched. Just an anecdotal observation.

  8. Julie Gorka

    This is really interesting! I have both the tropical and the native milkweeds in my garden for the butterflies. I think next year I’ll just grow the native ones (from seeds I found in a field nearby). They are not as brightly colored as this one, but still lovely and with a heavenly smell.
    Thanks.

  9. Mark Darrach

    I am quite curious about the name “wild ipecacuanha” as the true ipecac syrup is derived from the tropical plant Carapichea ipecacuanha in Rubiaceae – has this been used as a substitute for ipecac at some point?

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