Honeyvine milkweed

Encyclopedia Article

Honeyvine milkweed           Cynachum laeve (Michx.) Pers.

Family:  Apocynaceae (Dogbane family - formerly in Asclepidaceae family).
Life cycle:  Perennial reproducing by seed and vegetative rootstalks.
Native status: Native to N. America
Habitat:  Landscapes, crop fields, pastures

General description:  Herbaceous vine reaching lengths of 10 ft.  Leaves are heart-shaped, entire margins, no hairs, and arranged oppositely on stems. Does not produce milky sap as found in other milkweeds.  Produces large seedpods similar in size and shape to those of common milkweed, but the surface is smooth and glabrous.

Key ID traits:  Vine growth habit with opposite arranged heart-shaped leaves.

Similar species:  The bindweeds and wild buckwheat are vines with somewhat similar shaped leaves, but only honeyvine milkweed has opposite leaves.

Miscellaneous:  Honeyvine milkweed can serve as a  host for monarch larvae; however, it is is one of the least preferred milkweeds for the monarch.  Also known as climbing milkweed. Common and honeyvine milkweed are the two milkweeds best adapted to human disturbed habitats. Honeyvine milkweed is common in urban areas.

The heart shaped leaves are arranged oppositely on the vines.


Veins on leaves are often lighter colored than the leaf blade.

Seedpods (follicles) of honeyvine milkweed are similar in shape and size to those of common milkweed, but have a smooth, glossy surface compared to commons warty surface.


Clusters of small white flowers on honeyvine milkweed clinbing on junipers.

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