Plant Image
Flower head
Verde River above Camp Verde - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Funastrum cynanchoides - fringed twinevine

Synonyms: Sarcostemma cynanchoides
Other Common Names: climbing milkweed
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Asclepiadaceae

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Flower head
Verde River above Camp Verde
Sue Smith
Flower head
Verde River above Camp Verde
Sue Smith
Verde River above Camp Verde
Sue Smith
Leaf - dense hairs
Verde River above Camp Verde
Sue Smith
Plant - summer
Verde River above Camp Verde
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: A trailing or twining vine growing up to 10 feet long on trees and shrubs. When damaged, can emit a milky sap which gives this species its common name. Has a woody root.
Identification notes: Perennial herbaceous vine; flowers with a crown between the corolla and stamens; stems glabrate or sparsely pubescent at the nodes distinguishes this from other milkweeds.
Height: Vining stems up to 6 feet


Habitat Description: Desert washes and slopes, canyons, floodplains, disturbed sites. Climbs over bushes along streams and washes.
Plant Communities: Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 1500 - 4500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White, purplish-white or greenish-white     Shape: Regular in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: May - Sep
Description: Has a star-like shape with 5 petals and 5 sepals to 1/2 inch wide. Flowers are fringed with white hairs. Clusters are to 4 inches wide.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Dark green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Triangular     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Opposite     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Grows to 2-1/2 inches long. Leaves can be variable in width and shape from narrow to heart-shaped.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Green brown and white   
Fruit Type: Pod
Fruit Notes: The fruit is a linear tear-drop shaped follicle up to 4-1/4 inches long that splits open at a seam and releases seeds on silky white, hair-like parachutes.
Seed Notes: Seeds are brown.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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