Asclepias curassavica

Blood Flower is an upright sub-shrub native to tropical America. It is rarely seen in cultivation. It reaches a height of 50-70 cm (20-28 in). The leaves are opposite, short-stalked and 8-12 cm (3-4 ¾ in) long. They are dark green on the upper surface and blue-green on the underside. The lovely flower clusters are usually composed of ten flowers. Each has five widespreading scarlet petals. These form a vivid contrast to the orange corona, which is composed of five cupped segments with pointed tips extending towards the centre of the flower. These extraordinary blossoms open in late summer, usually in August but also in September.

Store the plant in a cool place, about 10°C (50° F), in winter to force early flowers in May or June. However, they will not be as decorative as the summer flowers. Propagate from seed sown any time from January to March. Plant three to five young plants in a pot about 17 cm (7 in) in diameter.

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