Scarlet Milkweed
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Scarlet Milkweed
aturalized Photo: Gary Thingnam
Common name: Scarlet Milkweed, Bloodflower, Silkweed, Indian root • Hindi: काकाटुन्डी Kakatundi • Kannada: ಕಾಕತುಂಡಿ Kakatundi • Manipuri: ꯀ꯭ꯔꯤꯁꯅꯥꯆꯨꯔꯥ Krishnachura • Marathi: पिवला चित्रक Pivla chitrak, Halad kunku • Kuki: Langthlei • Mizo: Ding-di
Botanical name: Asclepias curassavica    Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Synonyms: Asclepias bicolor, Asclepias aurantiaca, Asclepias cubensis

Scarlet milkweed is an erect, evergreen perennial subshrub, often grown as an annual. Like most milkweeds, it has opposite leaves and milky sap. The blossoms of scarlet milkweed are are red and orange, less than an inch across, and appear in clusters at the top of 2 to 4 ft. stalks. It is without a doubt the best milkweed species for the home garden. Scarlet milkweed gets about 3-4 ft tall and usually has a few pairs of symmetrical branches. The leaves are about 5 in long, narrowly elliptic, and pointed at both ends. It blooms continuously from spring until autumn. The fruits are spindle shaped pods, 3-4 in long, that eventually split open to release little flat seeds that drift away on silky parachutes. Scarlet milkweed is native to South America but has become a naturalized weed in tropical and subtropical pastures, fields and disturbed areas throughout the world.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in cultivation in Imphal.

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