Monarch Over-Wintering Count
Tropical Milkweed / Asclepias curassavica

Status

Ecological Relationships

Green Throated Carib Hummingbird      Ladybug / Ladybeetle      Puerto Rican Monarch      Gulf Fritillary      Snowberry Clearwing Moth


Characteristics

Habitat


Natural Catastrophic Event Importance

Very High: after hurricane, existing plants regenerated quickly; new plants stated emerging a little over a week later; providing pollen/nectar to a large variety of pollinators.


Observations

Recent research by Jaap de Roode’s lab at Emory University, confirmed that butterflies that are infected by OE tend to prefer the tropical milkweed even more than usual. However the tropical milkweed has been found to be “medicinal” in terms of improving parasite resistance suggesting that they are self medicating their offspring. In the final analysis they determined the effect is certainly real.

Other common names for this plant are Scarlet Milkweed, Mexican Milkweed, Bloodflower, and Silkweed



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