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CALOTROPIS Giant Milkweed Butterfly Garden Tree Plant Lavender


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Available Size

4 Inch Pots - Mature, well rooted starter size plants, growing and shipped in a 4 inch plastic pot, plant will be a minimum of about 8 to 10 inches tall and unlikely to have bloom or bud at the time of shipping.

Calotropis gigantea (formerly Asclepias) or Giant Milkweed is native to Asia. It has become naturalized in many other locations, including Western, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Brazil and Australia. It's natural habitat is usually along roadsides, and on previously developed lots and acreage.

The plant is a fast growing, soft wooded, evergreen or semi-decidous tree-like shrub with soft, large oval shaped gray green leaves with an odd heart shaped base and hairy underside. The trunk is covered with a thick, corky, white to gray, furrowed, gnarly bark and frequently grows at odd twisted angles as if pushed by the wind, or other unseen force.

It will grow in a wide range of soil types, is very drought tolerant once well established and also tolerant of salt spray. Giant Milkweed is frequently found growing wild in dry coastal environments. It is a lowland plant that does not typically grow at elevations above about 1000 feet.

The Giant Milkweed produces clusters of waxy, five petaled flowers in multi-toned purples, lavender and white. The flowers are frequently used for tassels and leis. The flowers attracts several species of butterflies, such Tiger Butterflies (Danaus chrysippus), Monarchs (Danaus plexippus), and others. Monarchs are believed to have the ability to utilize compounds from the flowers as a defense. A fibrous non edible fruit like seed pod follows the flower.

Botanical Name Calotropis gigantea
Common Name Giant Milkweed, Swallow Wort, Madar, Crown Flower
Plant Family Apocynaceae
Mature Size 8 to 10 feet
Bloom Color Purple, Lavender, White, sometimes Green
Bloom Form Cluster Five Petal Waxy
Bloom Time Warm Season Perpetual
Zone 10, 11
Fragrance None
Key Features Salt Tolerant, Attracts Butterflies
Suggested Uses Butterfly Garden, Xeriscape, Character Accent,
Grower Notes Parts are toxic

Direct planting of 4 inch starter size plants is not recommended, so for the best results with your new plant, we recommend it be repotted and allowed to grow larger before setting out in a tropical to subtropical landscape. 

When the new pot has filled with roots and the plant is larger, then here a few hints for successful growing in the landscape in Zones 9, 10, and 11.  can be grown as a potted plant indefinitely.

  • Plant in fertile, very well draining soil.
  • Locate in full sun.
  • Provide supplemental irrigation until established, take care not to over-water.
  • Feed a good quality, slow release, fertilize with the initial planting and yearly in the early Spring thereafter. 
  • Select one or a few strong sturdy branches for the central trunk. Keep sucker growth pruned away from the lower 1/3 of the central trunk(s).
  • Protect from frost and freeze.

This plant is intended for use as an ornamental, decorative item only. Plants contain compounds that are scientifically validated as biologically active, and should therefore be considered toxic. Emerald Goddess Gardens does not recommended nor endorse the use of ornamental plants for homeopathic treatments, herbal remedies, spiritual experience enhancement, or recreation.



Photo credit:Creative Commons






  • Model: CAL-GIG-GM-04
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3lbs
  • 4 Units in Stock
  • Manufactured by: Emerald Goddess Gardens

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