Asclepias physocarpa
“Family Jewels Tree”

Garden hilarity abounds when you plant this living naughty joke! A SUPER EASY tree-like milkweed from South Africa that grows fast enough to host Monarch caterpillars its first year. In early Summer it forms small mauve and white star-shaped flowers in pendulous clusters that make way for an abundance of 2.5-3” hairy green “family jewels” shaped seed pods with a reddish blush. Gorgeous in bouquets ($30 a stem at high-end florists) or made into the world’s raciest “fruit bowl”. To 6’ high and wide. Provide good drainage for fastest growth. Cut back in Fall to encourage bushiness. Nutrient poor soil is A-ok. Self-sows.


We are pleased to announce that the California Department of Agriculture has recently lifted its requirement that our nursery use Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), as a naturally occurring biological insecticide (also commonly used on organically grown fruits and vegetables),  as control against LBAM (Light Brown Apple Moth) within the State of California.  As a result we are no longer using BT in our nursery.  Bt was known to be toxic to caterpillars, particularly the Monarch butterfly caterpillar, which is why we had always advised our customers to wait a growing season (or approximately one year) before introducing Monarch caterpillars to any Asclepia (Milkweed) plants  to ensure the plants are large enough to provide sufficient food and the BT has had time to wear off.  

Full Sun
Low/Avg. Water
Tender Perennial
USDA Zones 7-10