Swallow-wort, Cynanchum angustifolium

photo (82)Our native swallow-wort, Cynanchum angustifolium is the gulf coast swallow-wort. It is a member of the asclepias, or milkweed family, and you can tell it’s a milkweed from the milky sap on the stems. On Dewees Island, the vine can be found along the edges of the impoundment on Dewees Inlet drive and Lake Timicau drive, as well as the pathway along Huyler House walk. This is one of the only host plants for monarchs that is native to the island. It is also known as climbing or vine milkweed. At this time of year, the flowers are blooming, but mature seed pods are also casting their tiny seeds out along the breezes.


gulf coast swallow wort flower head
flower heads
milky sap can be seen along an exposed stem
the flowers are attractive to a variety of insects

Cynanchum angustifolium on wax myrtle
vining swallowwort
gulf coast swallow wort seed pods with mite
seed pods beginning to dissipate


Cynanchum angustifolium with iva frutescens
Swallow wort seeds on marsh elder
swamp milkweed seeds
seeds ready to fly

I am hoping to collect and propagate some seeds from this vine: I’d love to see more monarchs on the island!

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