Showy Mexican Milkweed

Mexican Milkweed

Brilliant red and orange Mexican Milkweed blooms in an Austin, Texas garden

Mexican Milkweed (also called Bloodflower, Swallow-wort, Silkweed, Tropical Milkweed, Indian root, Butterfly Weed, Red Cottonweed, and Scarlet Milkweed) is botanically known Asclepias curassavica.

This tropical, herbaceous perennial (evergreen in milder areas) is hardy to zone 8, but can be grown as an annual in colder areas. Vertical and showy, this plant with its dramatic red-orange blooms can grow to 48 inches! The continuous supply of red-orange and yellow blooms from early summer to early fall is a visual treat for gardeners and also a food source for many winged Lepidoptera, flies and insect visitors.

Since Mexican Milkweed can reach such often unexpected heights, plant it in the middle or back of the border so that it doesn’t block other shorter plants. An alternative is to pinch the plant in the spring to cause more branching

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