Habit: Shrub

Balloon Plant; 

Flower from Gangtok for id:
This was photographed at the Sai Mandir, Daramdin, West Sikkim. Am unable
to locate the original picture but used this to showcase in pollinator series during IYB 2010. Looks like a lowland exotic as I have seen it in only one other place, a PWB bungalow garden in South Sikkim, but no camera then.

from Arya PG College Panipat


Id of plaqnt and flower:
Greetings from Kalimpong. A friend’s daughter who is a faculty member at IGNOU in Delhi posted the attached pictures in a Facebook group for identification. It used to grow in her grandfathers garden about 2km away from where I live. Could you please help in identification?

YEs certainly… happy to see it in India and to tell you all its a Balloon cotton bush, a good food source for monarch butterfly caterpillars…
its scientific name is Asclepias physiocarpa… wike will tell you many other detais I am sure… read it at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asclepias_physocarpa
… can your friends granchild tell you if she is saving the seeds? although its a perennial in her garden, other’s may want to plant it for butterfly food…

This is Asclepias physocarpa (Meyer) Schltr. in Engl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 21. Biebl. liv. 8. 1895; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 833(585). 1923.
Syn: Gomphocarpus physocarpus Meyer.
Native of South Africa

Notes: Compact subshrub; branchlets downy pubescent; latex milky. Leaves decussate, linear-lanceolate, to 12 x 1.2 cm, tapering at both ends, margins revolute; petiole 1 cm. Cymes umbel-like, solitary at nodes; peduncle to 3 cm; pedicel to 3 cm; bracts linear, 1 cm. Calyx-lobes 5, lanceolate, 7.5 mm. Corolla cream, 1 cm wide; lobes 5, ovate, 9 x 6 mm, reflexed, margin bearded. Corona staminal, in 1 series, of 5 erect, 4 mm segments strongly compressed laterally, attached to staminal column. Stamens 5; connective produced; pollen masses solitary per cell, pendulous. Carpels 2, oblong, echinate. Follicles obliquely ovoid, inflated, to 5.5 x 3.5 cm, covered with long bristles; stalk to 5 cm; seeds comose.

Actaully this species grown as garden plant, sometimes seen as an escape. It is common in Kerala.

if its grown in Kerala… what local butterflies use it as food?
secondly… it means that seeds must be available for purchase, are they… from what nursery?

I would like to have few seeds of this if possible for my upcoming garden.

We have recently found this plant at Jakkur lake in Bangalore.
Here are two three pictures. will post more as a separate topic.
Location : Jakkur lake Bnagalore
Year : 2018
3 images.


Asclepias stenophylla A.Gray SN 15 April 04 : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)
Asclepias stenophylla A.Gray, ornamental shrub cultivated near Kothagiri, Nilgiri, Tamilnadu

Is it native/wild/garden/ornamental??

It does not appear to be Asclepias stenophylla A.Gray as per missouriplants
It appears to be Gomphocarpus physocarpus (Syn.: Asclepias brasiliensis (E.Fourn.) Schltr.; Asclepias physocarpa (E.Mey.) Schltr.; Gomphocarpus brasiliensis E.Fourn..);

I do agree your ID … Thank you for your efforts.


Images by tspkumar


TSP-APR2016-06-306: Images of Gomphocarpus physocarpus (Apocynaceae) : 7 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (5)

It is my pleasure to share few images of Gomphocarpus physocarpus (Apocynaceae 

Habit: Shrub 

Habitat: Cultivated 

Sighting: Chikmagalur, Karnataka, about 1200 msl 

Date: 06-05-2015, 04-08-2015 and 03-04-2016

Wonderful images from your lens, …

what a beauty!! I love your treasure of nature photographs
Thanks for sharing incredible picture 🙂


Name Of The Flower : 3 posts by 2 authors. 1 image.

Gomphocarpus physocarpus

Family : Apocynaceae
common name : Balloon plant

Asclepias physocarpa (E.Mey.) Schltr. syn: Gomphocarpus physocarpus E.Mey. : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (4)
Sharing some pictures of Asclepias physocarpa (E.Mey.) Schltr. shot at Gyaneswor Kathmandu Nepal on 27 July and 20 August 2016 at 4500 ft.

Superb images.

30082017BHAR2 : 7 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)- 2 MB each.
Found in Yelagiri hills of Eastern ghats.
Small Plant.

Leaves. Attachments (1) – 3 MB.

Gomphocarpus sp. [Apocynaceae].

Pl. check comparative images at efi site.

It matches with Gomphocarpus physocarpus

I also think matches.

Asclepias physocarpa (E.Mey.) Schltr. syn: Gomphocarpus physocarpus E.Mey. : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (4)
Sharing some pictures of Asclepias physocarpa (E.Mey.) Schltr. shot at Gyaneswor Kathmandu Nepal on 27 July and 20 August 2016 at 4500 ft.

Plant from Shillong for id : 7 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1)
Kindly identify the plant.
Location: Shillong

… just a guess: some Asclepias ? … A. incarnate cultivar ?

Gomphocarpus physocarpus

Looks like Gomphocarpus sps (G. physocarpus/ fruticosus)

gomphocarpus physocarpus


Re: Fakfakia(Nepali) : 4 posts by 4 authors. 3 images.
This is from Kalimpong, West Bengal
Please identify species

Asclepias physocarpa (E.Mey.) Schltr.

Yes. The balloon plant.

YES. good food for butterfly caterpillars. BUT also for the lightbrown Apple moths.
so one has to be careful where you plant it.


Gomphocarpus physocarpus : Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta : 28AUG20 : AK-13 : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (8)
Seen at the garden during my visit in October, 2018.
This was on my wish list for a long while.

Gomphocarpus physocarpus E.Mey. , Balloon Plant !


Gomphocarpus physocarpus: 1 high res. image.
Location: Rajouri j and k
Common name: Balloon plant

Yes. I have also photographed in an exhibition. Commonly known as balloonplant, balloon cotton-bush, bishop’s balls, hairy balls, nailhead, or swan plant, is a species of milkweed. The plant is native to southeast Africa, but it has been widely naturalized. It is often used as an ornamental plant.

Yes sir


Swamy/New series/ID/100 – Gomphocarpus physocarpus: 4 images.
I am forwarding herewith a few photographs taken at Areyapalyam Tamil Nadu (near Hassanur, Western Ghats).
My ID is Gomphocarpus physocarpus. Please confirm the ID or suggest new ID.

Yes Gomphocarpus physocarpus E. Mey. is the correct I!

Yes, from me too.




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