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Most commonly cultivated
Asclepias tuberosa L.
A. curassavica L.
A. incarnata L.
Popular cultivars are 'Gay Butterflies' and 'Moby Dick'.
North America (Asclepias tuberosa and A. incarnata) and South America (A. curassavica).
Terminal or axillary umbel-like cymes of flowers with rotate corolla; 5 strongly reflexed corolla lobes concealing 5-parted calyx; 5 stamens with filaments inserted on the corolla tube, connate into a tube around and adherent to the style, and with prominent hood and horn appendages (a corona); fused stamens and 5-angled, enlarged stigmatic head form a structure called a gynostegium; pollen in masses (pollinia). Asclepias flowers recognizable due to their distinctive morphology.
Cultivar and/or species variation
Few cultivars; flowers red to orange to yellow, less commonly pink or white, ca. 2-2.5 cm across; corolla lobes vary in shape.