Sarcostemma hirtellum trailing milkweedTrailing milkweed is a perennial vine native to southwestern United States and northeastern Mexico where it lives in hot desert areas. It is vigorous and quickly climbs over shrubs, and trees often killing the plants it climbs on. The stems are green and like other members of the family have a milky white sap containing latex. The gray green leaves are linear to lance-shaped, up to two inches long, and fall off when the plant is stressed. The white to pink flowers are half an inch across and have five petals. They are fragrant and are borne in umbels of 6-18 flowers from spring to fall. The fruit is a follicle and contains many seeds with tufts of silk on one end that aid in wind dissemination.

Type: Perennial vine

Bloom: Flowers white to pink, fragrant, with five petals, half inch across, borne in umbels spring to fall

Size: 6-9’ H x 4-7’ W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Lean, dry, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 10-11

Care: Cut back to control spread

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed

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By Karen