(Asclepias curassavica ‘Blood Flower’)
Blood Flower Milkweed is a tender evergreen perennial flower that is native to South America but can be commonly found growing in moist areas and disturbed sites throughout the southern United States. At maturity, this plant reaches the height of 2-3' and features upright stems, 6” lance-shaped leaves, and showy clusters of reddish/orange petals with yellow hoods. This plant can be grown in a container, attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, resistant to deer, makes fabric, has medicinal properties, self sows, and is great as a cut flower!
Variety: Bloodflower Milkweed
Also Known As: Mexican Butterfly Weed, Tropical Milkweed, Bloodflower, Silkweed, Indian Root, Cotton Bush, Sunset Flower, Wild Ipecacuanha.
Native to: Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Cayman Is., Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Galápagos, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Leeward Is., Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panamá, Peru, Puerto Rico, Southwest Caribbean, Suriname, Trinidad-Tobago, Turks-Caicos Is., Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Windward Is.
Introduced into: Andaman Is., Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Ascension, Assam, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Burkina, California, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Cape Verde, Caroline Is., Chagos Archipelago, Chile North, China South-Central, China Southeast, Congo, Cook Is., Cyprus, East Aegean Is., East Himalaya, Fiji, Florida, Gabon, Ghana, Gilbert Is., Greece, Guinea, Gulf of Guinea Is., Hainan, Hawaii, India, Iraq, Japan, Jawa, Kenya, Kriti, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Louisiana, Madeira, Malawi, Malaya, Marianas, Marshall Is., Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nauru, Nepal, New Caledonia, New South Wales, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Paraguay, Philippines, Queensland, Rwanda, Réunion, Samoa, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Society Is., Solomon Is., South Australia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tennessee, Texas, Thailand, Tibet, Tonga, Uganda, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Wallis-Futuna Is., West Himalaya, Western Australia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe.
Ease of Growing: Easy
Grown as: Annual: 4-7
Maturity (Blooms): Summer-Fall
Attracts Beneficial Insects?: Yes. Hummingbirds, butterflies and bees are attracted to the flowers. Monarch butterflies lay eggs on this plant and the resulting larvae (caterpillars) use the plant leaves as a food source.
Light: Full Sun
Soil Moisture: Medium
USDA Zone: 4-12
Produces: upright stems, 6” lance-shaped leaves, and showy clusters of reddish/orange petals with yellow hoods.
Uses: Attractive foliage and flowers for beds, borders, cottage gardens, meadows and butterfly gardens. Also a good cut flower. Dried seed pods are attractive in arrangements.
Toxicity: Consider wearing gloves when working with these plants because the milky sap is poisonous if ingested and can be toxic to human skin. Can be poisonous to livestock.