|photo by Gil Nelson|
|Division:||Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants|
|Class:||Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons|
| Asclepias cinerea|
|Natural range of Asclepias cinerea from USDA NRCS Plants Database.|
Common name: Carolina milkweed
Asclepias is named for Asklepio, the Greek god of medicine and healing.
In general, with the Asclepias genus, they are perennial herbs usually milky sap. The stems are erect, spreading or decumbent and usually are simple and often solitary. The leaves are opposite to subopposite, are sometimes whorled, and rarely alternate. The corolla lobes are reflexed and are rarely erect or spreading. The filaments are elaborate into five hood forming a corona around the gynosteguim. The corona horns are present in most species.
Specifically, for Asclepias cinera, the stems are simple, slender and solitary; they grow up to 3-7 dm tall; and are puberulent in the lines below the nodes. The leaves are opposite, liner and 5-9 cm long to 1-2 mm wide, and are glabrous. The umbels are 1-4 terminal or axillary from upper nodes, 2-3.5 cm broad, and are usually less than 8-flowered. The corolla is lavender in color, the lobes are 5-7 mm long, the corona is 4-5 mm in diameter’ the lateral hood margins are conspicuous with the acuminate tooth extending beyond the truncate hood apex. The horn is about the same size, equaling the body of the hood. The follicles are smooth, 10-12 cm long, 5-10 mm broad, are erect on the erect pedicels. Flowers from June to July.
Asclepias cinerea is found in pine savannas and sandhills, flatwoods, and bogs. Specifically, it appears in longleaf pine-turkey oak woods, pine-palmetto woods, wiregrass savannas, scrub oak barrens, scrub at the edge of slash pine flatwoods, seepage slopes, and boggy savannas. It can also be found in disturbed areas, including sandy clearings along power line corridors, ditches, and disturbed flatwoods. This species occurs in a range of light levels, from shady to full sun, and in a variety of sandy soil types, including wet or dry loamy sand, boggy or gravelly soils, moist sand, sandy peat, and Penney (Typic Quartzipsamments) and Ridgewood (Aquic Quartzipsamments) soils.
Associated species:Baptisia simplicifolia, Callisia, Chrysopsis, Crotalaria rotundifolia, Sisyrinchium, Stipullicida, Euphorbia telephioides, Cyperus filiculmis, Sophronanthe hispida, Tragia urens, Pinus palustris, Quercus laevis, and Aristida stricta.
This species is thought to be dispersed by wind. 
Pollination of Asclepias is unusual. Pollen is contained in sacs (pollinia) located in the slits of the flower (stigmatic slits), when a pollinator walks across the flower head, these sacs attach to the pollinator and disperses on to another plant when the pollinator lands and walks. There is no specialist insect pollinator. In Jackson County, FL, a spider was observed pollinating A. cinerea.
Conservation and management
Cultivation and restoration
References and notes
- []Florida Native Plant Society. Accessed: March 30, 2016
- Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 848-854. Print.
- Weakley, Alan S. Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States: Working Draft of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU). PDF. 931.
- []Native Florida Wildflowers. Accessed: March 30, 2016
- []NatureServe. Accessed: March 30, 2016
- Wunderlin, Richard P. and Bruce F. Hansen. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida. Third edition. 2011. University Press of Florida: Gainesville/Tallahassee/Tampa/Boca Raton/Pensacola/Orlando/Miami/Jacksonville/Ft. Myers. 270. Print.
- Observation by Patrick R. Leary and identification by Edwin Bridged in Ralph Simmons State Forest, FL, August 6 2016, posted to Florida Flora and Ecosystematics Facebook Group August 6, 2017.
- Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: http://herbarium.bio.fsu.edu. Last accessed: June 2014. Collectors: L. C. Anderson, J. R. Burkhalter, A. F. Clewell, D. L. Fichtner, A. Gholson, R. K. Godfrey, R. Kral, R. Komarek, S. W. Leonard, M. Mayo, S. McDaniel J. B. Nelson, S. L. Orzell, P. L. Redfearn, W. D. Reese, A. Schmidt, C. R. Slaughter, and Jr. R. Wilson. States and Counties: Florida: Bay, Clay, Duval, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Okaloosa, St. Johns, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington. Georgia: Thomas.
- Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. www.gilnelson.com/PanFlora/ Accessed: 7 DEC 2016
- Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
- []Xerces Society. Accessed: March 30, 2016
- Observation by Floyd Griffith in Jackson County, FL, June 24, 2016, posted to Florida Flora and Ecosystematics Facebook Group June 24, 2016.