Garden Photo of the Day

Behold the giant milkweed!

Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

I ran into this plant (well, not literally…) at the University of Tennessee Research Center in Jackson a few years ago. I immediately thought it was a beefy asclepias. Close, but not quite! It’s giant milkweed (Calotropis gigantea, USDA Hardiness Zones 10-11), also called crown flower. It’s tropical, and not extremely hardy, so it was likely being grown as an annual here, along with golden jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum ‘Aureum’, annual) in one shot and with a shiny purple-leafed basil (Ocimum cv., annual) in the other. Its beefy leaves add great texture to an annual planting, and its lavender flowers are fascinating and beautiful. Yup, it’s going on my shopping list.

Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais
Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais


Welcome to the Fine Gardening GARDEN PHOTO OF THE DAY blog! Every weekday we post a new photo of a great garden, a spectacular plant, a stunning plant combination, or any number of other subjects. Think of it as your morning jolt of green.

Sign up to get new posts delivered to your inbox each morning so you’ll always remember to take a look, or subscribe to our RSS feed. We look forward to sharing our garden travels with you.

READER PHOTOS: We love featuring your photos, too. If you think you have a photo that we should share on the Garden Photo of the day, email us. Send hi-res images if possible. We’ll only respond if we plan to use your photo.

View Comments


  1. DreamGardener 04/28/2011

    how Giant is this, exactly?

  2. MichelleGervais 04/28/2011

    So sorry, DreamGardener - I should have mentioned that the giant milkweed, where hardy, can reach up to 12 feet tall.

  3. DreamGardener 04/29/2011

    yes. Yes, that's Definitely GIANT! Dang!

  4. Chickadeebower 05/02/2011

    This looks very sinilar to the milkweed that grows here in Minnesota. The flower heads are different, though.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest

Shop the Store

View All Products