Endemic to Florida
Endangered Florida species
This rare milkweed is found only in Florida, growing in the leached white sand of scrub, sand pine scrub and scrubby flatwoods habitats. The range is mostly through the central peninsula, with a northern extent in Clay County, and a also in the south Florida counties of Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Collier and Lee.
Asclepias curtissii is a long-lived deciduous perennial that annually dies back to its rootstock. The single stem is minutely pubescent with opposite broadly ovate to oblong leaves, 3-5 cm (1-1/8 - 2 in.) long, glabrous or nearly glabrous, and with short petioles. The flowers have the appearance typical of many milkweeds, growing in umbels. In Curtiss' milkweed, the corolla lobes are greenish-white, 5-6 mm long and reflexed. The 4-4.5 mm long hoods are lanceolate and white with purple lines.
The species name honors Allen Hiram Curtiss, a Virginian who came to Florida in 1875 and settled in Jacksonville. In 1880 and 1881 he traveled through the keys, and after 1900 he botanized in other southern states and the West Indies. In a seven year period Curtiss collected nearly 1500 species. At least a dozen Florida species or subspecies bear the name curtissii.
Asclepias curtissii is a member of the Apocynaceae - Dogbane family.
Other species of the Asclepias genus in the Wild Florida Photo database:
Asclepias michauxii - MICHAUX'S MILKWEED
Asclepias tuberosa - BUTTERFLY WEED
Asclepias verticillata - WHORLED MILKWEED
Asclepias pedicellata - SAVANNAH MILKWEED
Asclepias viridiflora - GREEN MILKWEED
Asclepias lanceolata - FEWFLOWER MILKWEED
Asclepias perennis - SWAMP MILKWEED
Asclepias cinerea - CAROLINA MILKWEED
Asclepias curassavica - SCARLET MILKWEED
Asclepias humistrata - PINEWOODS MILKWEED
Asclepias longifolia - LONGLEAF MILKWEED
Asclepias tomentosa - VELVETLEAF MILKWEED
Date record last modified: Sep 13, 2020