Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) in the Milkweeds Database

Common names:
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Give a thumbs up Scarlet Milkweed
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General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 8a -12.2 °C (10 °F) to -9.4 °C (15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: 2-3 feet
Plant Spread: 1.5-2 feet
Leaves: Evergreen
Other: Grows best in light, rich, evenly moist, well-drained soil in full sun. It has a much longer flowering period than the perennial milkweeds. Pointed, opposite, lanceolate leaves (to 6" long). Leaves are medium green sometimes with white midribs. Monarch
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Other: Red-orange with yellow hood
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Summer
Late summer or early fall
Uses: Cut Flower
Suitable as Annual
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Butterflies
Hummingbirds
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Toxicity: Other: Consider wearing gloves when working with these plants because the milky sap is poisonous if ingested and can be toxic to human skin. Plants can be poisonous to livestock. Take precautions as far as preventing any accidental contact of the sap with your e
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem

#Pollination

Early Milkweed for the MonarchsEarly Milkweed for the Monarchs
October 20, 2013

Asclepias curassavica is not winter hardy here in North Central Texas, so in order to have fresh milkweed ready for the Monarchs as they return from their wintering in Mexico, I keep milkweed in large pots and bring them into the garage during freezing weather and then take them out again when the danger of frost is past. This way, I have plants for them to lay their eggs on in the spring.

(Full article13 comments)
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Photo gallery:
Location: my garden Date: 2013-01-26
By piksihk
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Location: Colima, Colima Mexico (Zone 11)Date: 2014-06-28Asclepias curassavica with Queen Monarch butterfly (host plant fo
By vitrsna
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Location: My yard in Arlington, Texas.Date: Summer 2010This milkweed is easy to grow and a favorite of Monarchs and Quee
By frostweed
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Location: Paraty, BrazilDate: 2013-12-15With Monarch Butterfly :)
By bonitin
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Image
By StephGTx
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Location: Colima, Colima Mexico (Zone 11)Date: 2011-04-28Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica).  Wildflower native to
By vitrsna
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Location: My Garden - Lake Jackson, TXDate: 2011-12-21Seeds leaving the pod on a breezy day
By krancmm
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Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5bDate: 2013-05-21
By chelle
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Location: Burleson, Tx.Date: 2011-10-02
By StephGTx
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Location: Houston, TXDate: 2006-08-05
By Marylyn
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Location: Colima, Colima Mexico (Zone 11)Date: 2010-11-01Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica).  Wildflower native to
By vitrsna
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Date: 2009-12-05Credit Alexey Sergeev
By admin
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Location: Jacksonville, TXDate: 2015-08-15
By dave
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Location: my garden Date: 2015-11-06grown from seed; maiden bloom
By piksihk
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Location: Coastal San Diego County Date: 1-30-17Monarch Cocoon
By carlysuko
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Location: Coastal San Diego County Date: 2-26-17Metamorphosis time
By carlysuko
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Location: Ft Worth Botanic, TxDate: 2017-11-18
By jmorth
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Date: 2000-01-01
By Calif_Sue
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Date: 2000-01-01
By Calif_Sue
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Location: In our garden - San Joaquin County, CADate: 2013-08-30Tropical milkweed seeds popping out - thanks pollinators!
By tarev
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Location: Enterprise, Al. 36330Date: 2014-09-11Seed pod opening
By Seedfork
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Date: 2009-04-10Credit Alexey Sergeev
By admin
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Location: ILDate: 2008-08-19
By molanic
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Location: Houston, TexasDate: 2010-06-27
By jmorth
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Location: Winter Springs, FL zone 9bDate: 2017-01-10
By sunkissed
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Location: Enterprise, Al. 36330Date: 2017-06-25#Pollination   Normal state of my Tropical Milkweed...aphids and
By Seedfork
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Location: Ft Worth Botanic, TxDate: 2017-11-18
By jmorth
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Location: Burleson, Tx. 76028Date: September 30 2011young Monarch cat
By StephGTx
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Location: Middle TennesseeDate: 2011-11-02
By SongofJoy
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Location: Middle TennesseeDate: 2011-11-01
By SongofJoy
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Location: My front yard N. Watauga TXDate: 2011-10-11Speaks for itself.
By Debnes
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Location: My front yard N. Watauga TXDate: 2011-10-11Host for Monarchs & Queen Butterflies
By Debnes
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Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5bDate: 2013-09-03
By chelle
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Location: My Northeastern Indiana Gardens - Zone 5bDate: 2013-08-30
By chelle
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Photo courtesy of Annie's Annuals and Perennials
By Calif_Sue
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Image
By lisam0313
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Location: central IllinoisDate: 2015-02-17
By jmorth
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Location: In my garden - San Joaquin County, CADate: 15-Jan-2016 WinterTropical milkweed during our El Nino winter 2016
By tarev
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Location: ILDate: 2013-05-07
By molanic
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Location: my garden Date: 2016-08-26
By piksihk
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Location: Ft Worth Botanic, TxDate: 2017-11-18
By jmorth
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Date: 2013-06-17A.Curassavica (left) and A.Curassavica \"Silky Deep Red\"
By Cruddy
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Image
By tarev
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Location: At our garden - San Joaquin County, CADate: 2013-09-05Tropical milkweed seed pods starting to pop
By tarev
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Location: Ft Worth Botanic, TxDate: 2017-11-18
By jmorth
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This plant is tagged in:
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Comments:
Posted by Newyorkrita (North Shore, Long Island, NY ) on Sep 25, 2013 2:31 PM

We have to grow Tropical Milkweed as an annual here as it dies out in the winter. Still, it is well worth it to plant the Tropical Milkweed each year, as once it starts blooming, it just continues to bloom all season long. And those flowers are bright and very pretty. It is a host plant for Monarch caterpillars.

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Posted by Catmint20906 (Maryland - Zone 7a) on Aug 22, 2014 7:18 PM

Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) is a larval host plant for the Monarch and Queen butterflies, and an important Monarch Way Station plant. It is an excellent source of nectar for late season butterflies and moths, drawing a variety of pollinators. Hardy in zones 9-11, it will grow to full height and bloom prolifically in a single season in cooler zones. Look for Monarch eggs on the leaves!

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Posted by frostweed (Arlington, Texas - Zone 8a) on Oct 26, 2011 2:00 PM

Asclepias curassavica is poisonous to humans and it is deciduous in zone 8a, but it comes back from the roots in spring.

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Feb 2, 2012 6:54 AM

Beautiful plant that does well here in Tennessee and attracts butterflies galore. Will die to the ground after hard frost or freeze. Easy to collect seeds from the large pods when they split open.

Milky sap from broken leaves or stems can cause severe eye irritation.

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Posted by krancmm (Texas Gulf Coast - Zone 9b) on May 21, 2012 12:58 PM

In the warmest zones, 9b-11, plant can reach 6'x4' and remains evergreen. In Dec 2011-Jan 2012 there were 75-100 monarch cats at different instars feasting on a huge plant in my yard - Texas Gulf Coast.

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Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Sep 11, 2011 4:37 PM

Scarlet Milkweed is an evergreen perennial that does well in full sun to partially shady locations of the garden. It has beautiful orange/red blooms in the summer months that attract butterflies. Scarlet Milkweed is also a larval host plant for the caterpillars of the Monarch Butterfly.

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Posted by sallyg (central Maryland) on Dec 12, 2018 12:11 AM

Tropical milkweed grows very well in my zone 7 Maryland garden as an annual, may self sow a bit. Easy to root from fall cuttings and can be kept inside over winter that way, and will grow quickly once planted back out. Monarch caterpillars do love it. Can get aphids some years, watch for aphids if you bring in seedlings or cuttings over winter..

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Plant Events from our members
piksihk On January 4, 2017 Miscellaneous Event
two days of below freezing - zapped them;
piksihk On December 19, 2016 Miscellaneous Event
still blooms and couple of monarchs
piksihk On July 12, 2016 Miscellaneous Event
several cats on plants
piksihk On May 27, 2016 Miscellaneous Event
seed pods bursting open
piksihk On December 3, 2015 Harvested
HW's - collected seeds
chelle On August 22, 2014 Bloomed
These plants were sown during 2013 seed collection.
Catmint20906 On June 20, 2015 Bloomed
Mindypin On July 20, 2016 Transplanted
Planted all 4 in front east-facing flower bed in the 103 degree heat
Mindypin On July 11, 2016 Transplanted
Potted the one from dogwooderitternet
Mindypin On July 11, 2016 Obtained plant
Bought 4 from ozarkmountainplants on eBay
Mindypin On July 6, 2016 Obtained plant
Bought 1 from dogwooderitternet on eBay
MunchkinsMom On June 13, 2016 Transplanted
Small bed
MunchkinsMom On June 9, 2016 Obtained plant
2 plants $4.75 each 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" pot, about 12" tall, have a couple of leaves yellowing, but also have buds coming on
MunchkinsMom On June 5, 2016 Miscellaneous Event
Ordered 2 plants from Dogwood eBay
lovesblooms On March 3, 2018 Seeds sown
winter sown
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Untitled by plantladylin May 29, 2012 4:55 PM 2
Bi-colored flower looks like A. curassavica by purpleinopp Feb 5, 2015 6:35 AM 3
Looks like Tropical milkweed, A. curassavica by purpleinopp Nov 18, 2015 12:59 PM 3
Wow! by cliftoncat Nov 19, 2015 2:34 PM 1
Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica) seeds by tx_flower_child Sep 17, 2016 9:18 AM 1
November Monarch Migration by jeanmarsh Dec 3, 2018 3:40 PM 10
Host flowers for butterflies by Asclepias May 28, 2018 1:30 PM 3
Please Help by Alexxxxxxxx Mar 11, 2018 6:19 AM 2
Bee Friends And Other Garden Guests 2018 by cliftoncat Jan 15, 2019 5:33 AM 949
Bee Friends And Other Garden Guests---Chapter-9 by wildflowers Oct 23, 2017 2:54 PM 470
What is it? by Englishgardener Jun 29, 2017 12:58 PM 2
April 2017 Butterflies, Moths & Larva by mellielong May 1, 2017 6:02 PM 143
Banner for March 3, 2017 by clintbrown by clintbrown Mar 3, 2017 12:22 PM 5
Milkweed? by Kalix Mar 7, 2017 7:10 AM 6
container plant for hot afternoon Texas sun! by susanokeefe Feb 18, 2017 10:37 PM 6

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