Friday, June 12, 2015

Flower Friday: Look for the unusual largeflower milkweed in bogs and savannahs

Photo by Stacey Matrazzo
Largeflower milkweed (Asclepias connivens)

Largeflower milkweed is a perennial wildflower found throughout much of Florida. Its conspicuous flowers begin as purplish buds, and open into whitish- to yellowish-green, rounded blooms that can be as wide as 1 inch each. Sepals are broad and curve slightly up. Petals are robust and appear hooded. Compared to other milkweeds, the flowers are quite unusual. Leaves are linear in shape, sessile and oppositely arranged. The stem is relatively thick and often leans. Like other milkweeds, it contains a milky sap. The overall greenish color of the plant can make it difficult to spot in its natural setting.

Largeflower milkweed blooms in late spring through summer. It occurs naturally in moist pine flatwoods, savannahs and bogs.

Largeflower milkweed blooms and buds (Photo by Stacey Matrazzo)
Family: Apocynaceae (dogbane family)
Native range: Central to western Panhandle, northeast and central peninsula, Miami-Dade County
Hardiness: 8a-11
Soil: Moist to nearly wet soil
Exposure: Full sun

Growth habit: up to 2 feet tall
Garden tips: Largeflower milkweed may be propagated by seed, however, seed and plants are not typically available commercially.

To see where largeflower milkweed occurs naturally, visit www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu.

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