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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - March 09, 2005

From: New Port Richey, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native Asclepias curassavica
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have some plants given to me by a neighbor, here in Florida. She says they are called Butterfly Reel or by another name Asclepias Curassavica. I have been unable to locate any info. on this plant. Can you help ??? Thanks.

ANSWER:

The scientific name of the plant is Asclepias curassavica and it has several common names--bloodflower, wild ipecacuantha, butterfly weed, scarlet milkweed. It is a member of the milkweed family (Family Asclepiadaceae) which serve as hosts for the monarch butterflies. It is a non-native introduced from South America that has become naturalized in Florida and other tropical and subtropical areas. You can read more about it and its cultivation on the Floridata web page.
 

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