Angularfruit Milkvine

Matelea gonocarpos

Family: Asclepiadaceae (ass-kle-pee-ad-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Matelea (ma-TEL-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: gonocarpos


Vines and Climbers

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


Unknown - Tell us


USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 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


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer





Other details:

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


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


Birmingham, Alabama

Morrilton, Arkansas

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Joplin, Missouri

Nashville, North Carolina

Andersonville, Tennessee

Clarksville, Tennessee

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 6, 2017, Ted_B from Birmingham, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:

The botanical name "Matelea gonocarpos" was never resolved, and is obsolete. The most widely accepted name is "Gonolobus suberosus."

This climbing milkweed very closely resembles several Matelea sp. (e.g. M. carolinensis), but is most easily differentiated by inflorescence and its angular (as opposed to spiny seedpod. When in a vegetative state, there are subtle differences in leaf morphology, but this species is associated with a mild aroma that emanates from the foliage that can be described as akin to burnt peanut butter. Matelea sp. give no such odor.

In its natural habitat, I've found this climber mostly in the understory or edge of mixed hardwood forests, preferring rich soils that remain consistently moist, and tolerating a wide variety of lighting con... read more


On Jul 8, 2013, madisonwoods from Kingston, AR wrote:

I haven't seen anyone in any of the references I've found on this plant mention the smell. When I touched it, the plant exuded a strong odor (not pleasant, but not awful... kind of a musk-spice).

Have any of you noticed this on your plants? The one I've seen is wild, so I don't know if this is common to the entire species or if this is a variation of some sort. It does it if you touch the leaf or stem, forgot to try the flower itself.


On Jun 13, 2010, Seelie845 from Vicksburg, MS wrote:

Volunteer twining freely on untended 7-ft. quince; first discovered in fall 2009 by appearance of seedpods; appears to be larger/longer this year. Foliage is nondescript but not ugly, flower petals (5 ea.) are very narrow like skinny stars and grow in loose heads of a dozen or so; they are dun-colored and not showy. Seed pods are very notable and very like those of common milkweed. USDA classes as "threatened" in FL but naturally present in entire SE US. If not invasive, it might be of value to 'naturalizing' gardeners.