Asclepias curassavica

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Asclepias curassavica L.
  • Common Name : Scarlet Milkweed, Bloodflower, Silkweed, Butterfly Weed
  • Plant Family : Asclepiadaceae
  • Plant Form : Herb
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Indroda Park

About Asclepias curassavica Plant :

  • Habit : An evergreen, perennial, suffruticose herbs.
  • Stem : Erect, branched, herbaceous, solid, cylindrical, Pale, grey
  • Leaves : Membranous, Simple, Opposite, short petiolate, exstipulate, lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, acuminate or acute tip, milky latex present, unicostate reticulate venation.
  • Inflorescence : Umbellate Cymes.
  • Flowers :
    • Pedicellate, bracteates,Red-orange colored, small, bisexual, actinomorphic, hypogynous, pentamerous, cyclic.
    • Sepals 5, polysepalous, imbricate or valvate aestivation, lanceolate, pubescent.
    • Corolla purple or red; petals 5, gamopetalous, twisted aestivation, brightly coloured, lobes oblong, reflexed.
    • The filaments of the androecium attached to the base of the corolla are united to form a column around the pistil, the anthers being pressed close to the styles; each stamen bears on the side away from the pistil and appendage which enfolds the anther like a hood; these appendages collectively form a corona. Corona lobes yellow or orange.
    • Bicarpellary, syncarpous, ovary superior, gynostegium present, marginal placentation.
  • Fruit : Follicles ovate-lanceolate, glabrous, beaked.
  • Seeds : 0.4-0.6mm broadly ovate, glabrous, with silky-white coma.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : Throughout the year.
  • Significance :
    • Found as ornamental in gardens.
    • It is a food for many caterpillars. It also provides nectar for a wide variety of butterflies, pollinators, and hummingbirds.