Bloodflower: Asclepias curassavica
Thisevergreen semi-shrub, a member of the Asclepiadaceae family, is native to the tropical regions of America.
All parts of the plant contain a milky sap. The orange to dark-redthat first appear in spring and last until the autumn are grouped in umbels and are very popular with butterflies. The long, erect fruit pods contain numerous seeds that can be sown from January onward at a temperature of about 20° C (68° F). The plant needs a warm, sunny position. During the growing period, it needs to be watered generously. It is important to start fertilizing the plant in spring as soon as it shows signs of growth. It should over-winter in a light room at a temperature of 10-12° C (50-54° F) and only watered occasionally. A lack of light will delay the flowering while excessive moisture will cause root and basal stem rot. Watch out for whitefly and greenfly. If well supported during the early stages, the plant will branch out better. It can also be trained as a standard. Otherwise, prune moderately in spring.