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Curtiss' Milkweed
Asclepias curtissii

Photo Citations

Naturedigger would like to thank the following individuals for their contributions to the Curtiss' milkweed (Asclepias curtissii) identification slide:


Flower image provided by: Alex Abair, iNaturalist observation (cropped)

CC BY-NC 4.0

Inset flower provided by: Alex Abair, iNaturalist observation (cropped)

CC BY-NC 4.0

Leaf/stem images provided by: Alex Abair, iNaturalist observation (cropped)

CC BY-NC 4.0

Pod image provided by: Tom Palmer, iNaturalist observation (cropped)

CC BY-NC 4.0

Asclepias curtissii Profile

Common Name(s):

Curtiss's milkweed

Curtiss' milkweed


Scientific Name:

Asclepias curtissii


Native Range:

• Florida

USDA Symbol:




• oak habitats including Chapman, myrtle and live oak

• leached white sand scrub and sandhills

• Florida rosemary communities

• disturbed areas, particularly fire lanes and sand roads


Growing Conditions:

• excessively well drained, sandy soil

• partial to full sun


Plant Height:

• 2 -4 feet (0.6-1.2 meters) tall

• lanky

Stem Description:

• slender

• smooth but occasionally hairy near leaf nodes


Leaf Description: 

• 1-2" long (cm)

• elliptic to oval

• dark green

• thick


Leaf Arrangement:

• opposite


Leaf Margin:

• usually wavy or undulating


Leaf Surface:

• dark green

Flowering Period: 

• April through October

Flower Description: 

• white flowers

• usually located at the ends of the main stalks

• 20-30 individual flowers

• petals are green and reflexed 

• occasionally reddish purple lines on flowers

• elongated hoods that surround small, incurved horns


Pod Description:

• solitary (borne on stems singly or alone)

• narrow


Other Information:

• this is a rare species endemic to Florida's upland, sandy areas and was placed on the endangered-state species list

• threatened by fire suppression, sand mining and habitat loss 

• found throughout Florida in concentrated, but isolated areas

• not the most common food for monarch caterpillars, but they will feed off of it if the need arises

• pollinated mainly by skipper and hairstreak butterflies

• low levels of cardenolides in the sap, making it safe for deer to browse

• named after Allen Hiram Curtiss, a Virginian, who settled in Florida in 1875

For More Information About This Species Visit:


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center


USDA Plants Database




Native Florida Wildflowers


Wild South Florida - Naturally Wild


***Unfortunately, we are unable to locate seeds to purchase for this species

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