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Asclepias curassavica

Asclepias curassavica
The species has red-and-yellow bicolor flowers
tropical milkweed; bloodflower
'Silky Gold'

Common name tropical milkweed; bloodflower
Family apocynaceae
Life cycle tender perennial
Flowers red, yellow
Size 2-3'
Light sun
From seed germinate warm
detailed seed-starting info below
Seed ripenslate August

A tender member of the milkweed family. We'd grown these years ago, but had fallen back upon their hardier cousins until this year. Spurred in part by their colorful flowers, and in part by their superior attractiveness to monarch butterflies, I decided to give them another try. I think they'll turn into a staple of our annual garden - not only are the flowers even nicer than I remembered, they successfully attracted a monarch mommy - we found their caterpillars by early August. The one pictured here is a little one, not nearly ready to pupate.
Years later, after moving to Houston, we decided to give tropical milkweed another try – this time hopefully as a true perennial. We purchased a mature plant and were impressed with its constant flowering, into late fall, but it was killed down to the ground by a January freeze. Fortunately, its roots survived, so that by mid-March we had a perky plant ready for another season – and by mid-April, it was blooming.

Asclepias curassavica
tropical milkweed; bloodflower
Late October - most of the flowers have gone to banana-shaped seed pods, but a few keep on providing their cheerful color well into fall
Asclepias curassavica
Strident regrowth in mid-March after being knocked down by a freeze in January
tropical milkweed; bloodflower
Early to bloom in our Houston-area climate: this photo mid-April
Asclepias curassavica
Curious: the two flower colors, shown in photos above on different plants, occur on the same plant here

In our garden, this plant grows in the following areas: back fence border, left fence border, right-fence nursery area

Seed for this plant is included on my seed trade list

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PlantLinks to other web pages about Asclepias curassavica

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '05 trade. 'Silky Gold' baggy 70F (27d) - 75F (100%G, 2d); 'Red' baggy 70F (21d; 40%G, 4-17d) - 75F (25%G, 3-5d)
  2. Seed from '06 garden. Baggy 75F (91%G, 6-11d)
  3. Seed from '07 garden. Baggy 75F (95%G, 5d)
  4. Seed from '08 garden. Baggy 75F (100%G, 4-6d)
  5. Seed from '09 garden. Baggy 75F (100%G, 5-8d)
  6. Seed from '09 garden. Baggy 75F (97%G, 3-6d)
  7. Seed from '11 garden. Baggy 75F (94%G, 7-9d)
  8. Same seed as above. Baggy 75F (83%G, 10-15d)
  9. Same seed as above. Baggy 75F (63%G, 6-16d)
  10. Seed from '17 garden. Baggy 70F (50%G, 6-16d)

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