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The Calotropis Gigantea is native to mostly tropical regions throughout Africa and Asia. Best grown in zones 11 and 12, it prefers to have full sun and is actually highly drought tolerant, so you don’t need to worry about watering your Giant Milkweed everyday.
This shrub tends to grow up to 15 feet total if left on its own, though it can be trimmed to some smaller sizes. What makes it a great hedge for your property or the edge of your garden is more than the green leaves and stems but actually the interesting flowers that grow seasonally.
The flowers on this plant, also called a Giant Milkweed, are actually waxy and come in light purple and white colors that are very unique. In fact, they’re even used in floral arrangements in some parts of the world because of the look and the fact that they last a long time.
Some use an extract from the flowers and the leaves for their hypoglycemic effects and some use them for funeral decorations. They’ve even been used for shrines to the Lord Shiva and the fibers have been used for things like rope, nets, sewing, stuffing and more. In all, there are numerous different purposes for his plant, however it’s important to be careful around it as well.
There have been some uses that were not as mundane or healthy, such as using it as an arrow poison because it can be toxic. For others, it’s an ideal medicine, having been used in Indian folk medicine for treating asthma and even liver diseases. Some have also treated arthritis, cancer, snake bites, nausea and vomiting, among others, but there is little research on these at this point.
The Calotropis Gigantea’s leaves make a the perfect place for caterpillars to pupate on. The giant milkweed makes a great attractant for butterflies to flock to in your garden as it is considered a butterfly magnet. Butterflies such as Monarch, Queen, and Soldier Butterflies tend to use the giant milkweed as a host plant. This lovely plant is also attractive to bees and birds as well and can be a great addition to your garden to attract those much need pollinators!Category: ShrubsTags: Birds, Butterfly, Container Friendly, Evergreen, Low Maintenance, Nature, Spring Plants