Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sand Vine, Honey Vine, Blue Vined Milkweed, Honeyvine Milkweed
Cynanchum laeve

Family: Asclepiadaceae (ass-kle-pee-ad-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cynanchum (sigh-NAN-chum) (Info)
Species: laeve (LEE-vey) (Info)

Synonym:Ampelamus albidus

11 members have or want this plant for trade.

Vines and Climbers
Cactus and Succulents

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Grown for foliage

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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By CaptMicha
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By CaptMicha
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5 positives
3 neutrals
4 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive OldChurchEggery On Oct 15, 2014, OldChurchEggery from Mechanicsville, VA wrote:

I was walking the wood line of our property yesterday and discovered this vine scrambling up a tree right at the edge of the woods. Who knows how many times I'd past it before and never noticed! If not for the pods tapping against the tree trunk I might not have seen it. Now that I know where it is, I'll keep an eye out for the flowers next year. The leaves are very pretty and have an almost leathery feel to them. If the vine were growing in a more lateral fashion to where I could cut off a few segments, I think it would make an interesting addition to a cut arrangement.

We have a deep ravine with unstable partial fill that I have decided to turn into a pollinator patch. I've seeded the area with common milkweed seeds provided by a friend and I'm hoping to get some of these seeds to grow into plants to climb up the scraggly trees in the ravine. Really I'd just like anything to grow there, no matter how weedy, other than the awful perilla mint that keeps coming back with a vengeance no matter how much we bush hog the area. I'll update this if it's a successful venture.

Neutral hummingst On Aug 19, 2011, hummingst from Nashville, TN wrote:

The fragrance travels. You can smell it from several feet away. To me, it is an acquired "taste", reminding me of licorice. I don't like that it comes up EVERYWHERE, cannot be pulled by hand (stem just breaks off), and is a magnet for aphids. But I do like that it climbs where I want something climbing, growing full and glossy and healthy early in the summer.

Neutral blycox On May 31, 2011, blycox from Burkittsville, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:

Yep, this is invasive all right. Large portions of my garden have its strong tendrils waving three feet into the air looking for something to strangle.

And yet . . . when it blooms, the fragrance is indeed heavenly, a lot like heliotrope (one of my favorites) to my nose.

Neutral greenbrain On Oct 13, 2009, greenbrain from Madison, IL (Zone 6b) wrote:

In my 50 something years living in this same area, this vine has been as common as dandelions. I have to constantly pull it from the chainlink fence & off my garden trellises. I did let some grow around the trashpit & I'm glad that I did. This week, I noticed a monarch chrysalis in my garden. When I was a kid, I liked throwing the pods. Ok, I still do!

Negative werepanda On Jun 25, 2009, werepanda from Petersburg, VA wrote:

As a beekeeper I appreciate the value of this nectar source for the ladies and other beneficial bugs in the garden. However, I have a hate relationship with this plant. It came to our neighborhood through a neighbor about 4 doors down (about 300 feet away) who grew it to cover a fence. It did what she wanted it to do and then covered everything else in her garden. Unfortunately, I am now dealing with her problem in my garden. It takes over everything growing 6-8" a day sometimes. I found pulling it just makes it happier. It seems to reproduces through root division, so when digging it out if you happen to break a piece off guess what it comes back. I break my organic gardening rules and use "Round-Up" for two things Poison Ivy and this. I can keep it under control, but it never goes away.

Positive dellrose On Jan 13, 2008, dellrose from The Ozarks, MO (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have this plant come up every year and have always pulled it up as I did not know what it was. This past year I let it grow on my fence and it was fragrant and lovely for the butterflies and bees. I will let it come up again this year but will continue to monitor and pull up when needed. I noticed I had many Monarchs but don't know it that is the reason. I am also trying to provide for the bees so feel this is a real plus.

Positive hedgwytch On Aug 1, 2006, hedgwytch from Tulsa, OK wrote:

I have a love-hate relationship with this plant. If it was a little more well-behaved, I would highly suggest it. It attracts beneficial pollinators and Monarchs. The fragrance is outstanding. Although, it will twine around anything and everything in its path. If you keep pulling it out, you can manage it fairly well. This would do well on a tree or fence in the corner of a yard, where it can't twine up any nearby plants. But, it is invasive. Probably not any more so than the common honeysuckle, and just as fragrant.

Negative paani On May 9, 2005, paani from Saint Louis, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

terribly invasive and destructive - it throttles anything it reaches, and it can reach anywhere... As bad as bindweed.

Negative rwielgosz On Jun 29, 2004, rwielgosz from Washington, DC (Zone 6b) wrote:

This is an awful twining weed in my garden (Washington, DC). Rip it out and do not allow it to go to seed.

It is easily mistaken for a bindweed or morning-glory before it flowers, but can be identified early by the leaves: they grow in pairs and have noticable contrast between the pale veins and darker flesh.

Positive CaptMicha On Jun 16, 2004, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

Cynanchum laeve is an interesting form of milkweed, it has heart shaped, highly glossy, veined, blue-green leaves and it vines up any plants in the proximity of the plant.

Plants will retaliate if you move them or disturb them but will bounce back after a length of time, although it may or may not bloom for the year as a result.

Edited July 12, 2006:
Even though this plant has a tendency to pop up anywhere, even outside of the intended planting area, I still favor it's fervent growth allows it to supply an adequate food supply for the monarch caterpillars, which enjoy the supple leaves as opposed to other milkweeds.

Negative dstartz On Feb 29, 2004, dstartz from Deep South Texas, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

In zone 9 this is considered a bind weed and extremely noxious. It is a tenacious plant that will wind itself around things eventually strangling them. Once established (more than 2 true leaves) it can be almost impossible to uproot as it has an extremely deep taproot.

Positive ford3728 On Oct 25, 2003, ford3728 from Homer, LA wrote:

I received a seed pod of this plant from a friend because I wanted to grow it for the seed pod itself for craft purposes. However, no matter how small or green the seed pod is, it will dry and crack open so I had to change directions on my crafts. I use the pod sections to make artificial poinsetta petals. If you enjoy doing this, the plant is definetly a plus. The seeds have a silky wing attached so they fly everywhere if not enclosed. I watch them closely and put them in a plastic bag just as they begin to crack open. The plant has not been invasive for me, in fact, they did not survive in some locations where I planted them. The only thing that I have seen that could be the bloom is a small yellow cross looking thing that is about 3/8 inch across.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

North Little Rock, Arkansas
Roland, Arkansas
Brooksville, Florida
Belleville, Illinois
Madison, Illinois
Muncie, Indiana
Iowa City, Iowa
Melbourne, Kentucky
Brookeville, Maryland
Burkittsville, Maryland
Belton, Missouri
Cleveland, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Stilwell, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
Mechanicsville, Virginia

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