(Asclepias mexicana)

Perennial
A. mexicana. Rydb. non Cav. = A. fascicularis. Decne.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Asclepias mexicana
Asclepiadaceae

Rubber can be made from latex contained in the leaves and the stems[112].

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Young blossoms – cooked[161, 177]. Some caution is advised, see the notes on toxicity at the top of the page.

  • Cautionary Notes

    Although no specific reports have been seen for this species, many, if not all, members of this genus contain toxic resinoids, alkaloids and cardiac glycosides[274]. They are usually avoided by grazing animals[274]. The flowers are considered to be poisonous by some Indian tribes[161, 177].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in late winter[134, 169]. We have also had good results from sowing the seed in the greenhouse in early spring[K], though stored seed might need 2 – 3 weeks cold stratification[134]. Germination usually takes place in 1 – 3 months at 18¡c[134]. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out when they are in active growth in late spring or early summer and give them some protection from slugs until they are growing away strongly. Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. Pot the divisions up and place them in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly, then plant them out in the summer, giving them some protection from slugs until they are established.. Basal cuttings in late spring. Use shoots about 10cm long with as much of their white underground stem as possible. Pot them up individually and place them in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until they are rooting and growing actively. If the plants grow sufficiently, they can be put into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in the greenhouse until the following spring and when they are in active growth plant them out into their permanent positions. Give them some protection from slugs until they are established.
Prefers a well-drained light rich or peaty soil in a sunny position[1, 200]. Succeeds in poor soils. There is some confusion over nomenclature. A. mexicana. Rydb. is a synonym of A. fascicularis and the reports on the uses of this plant did not specify the authors name[60]. We have assumed that the uses refer to A. mexicana. Cav. There is also some confusion over the hardiness of this plant with one report saying that it needs greenhouse protection in Britain[1] whilst another says that it is hardy to zone 6, or about -20¡c[200]. Many members of this genus seem to be particularly prone to damage by slugs. The young growth in spring is especially vulnerable, but older growth is also attacked and even well-established plants have been destroyed in wet years[K]. Plants resent root disturbance and are best planted into their final positions whilst small[134]. The flower of many members of this genus can trap insects between its anther cells, the struggles of the insect in escaping ensure the pollination of the plant[207].
South-western N. America – C. Mexico.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.