Funastrum cynanchoides – Fringed Twinevine
Scientific Name: Funastrum cynanchoides
Synonym: Sarcostemma cynanchoides
Common Names: Fringed Twinevine, Climbing Milkweed
Growth Habit: Vine, Herb/Forb
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Desert, Riparian (along washes in the desert)
Flower Color: Greenish white, Pale green, Pinkish, Purple
Flowering Season: Spring (late), Summer
Height: Climbing to 10 feet (3 m) tall or more
Description: The flowers are in 4 inch (10 cm) wide, axillary, umbel-like clusters. The individual flowers have the typical milkweed flower shape, 5 sepals, and 5 petals that are fringed with white hairs. The flowers are followed by elongated teardrop-shaped fruits that dry and split open to reveal brown seeds with long, silky, white hairs that help them disperse in the wind. The leaves are green, hairless, opposite, and quite variable in shape and may be narrowly to broadly lance-shaped, hastate (shaped like an arrowhead), or heart-shaped. The stems are slender, green, and twining. When damaged, the foliage exudes a milky juice.
The similar Hairy Milkweed (Funastrum hirtellum) has hairy leaves, while Wavyleaf Twinevine (Funastrum crispum) has green flowers and wavy leaves.
Foul-smelling – The foliage smells like burning rubber.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Asclepiadaceae – Milkweed family
Genus: Funastrum Fourn. – twinevine
Species: Funastrum cynanchoides (Decne.) Schltr. – fringed twinevine
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