Sand Vine, Honey Vine, Blue Vined Milkweed, Honeyvine Milkweed

Cynanchum laeve

Family: Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cynanchum (sigh-NAN-chum) (Info)
Species: laeve (LEE-vey) (Info)
Synonym:Ampelamus albidus
Synonym:Ampelamus laevis
Synonym:Gonolobus laevis



Vines and Climbers

Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage




This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:



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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Little Rock, Arkansas

North Little Rock, Arkansas

Roland, Arkansas

Brooksville, Florida

Belleville, Illinois

Madison, Illinois

Muncie, Indiana

Iowa City, Iowa

Melbourne, Kentucky

Brookeville, Maryland

Burkittsville, Maryland

Senatobia, Mississippi

Belton, Missouri

Saint Joseph, Missouri

Cleveland, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Stilwell, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee(2 reports)

Nashville, Tennessee

Mechanicsville, Virginia

Charles Town, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 23, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

No state has listed this species as a noxious weed.

Native to North America, from Ontario and NY to FL and from TX to NE. The state of Pennsylvania has listed it as endangered.


On Sep 22, 2016, monarchamie from Memphis, TN wrote:

Gardeners, Please give honey vine a chance. It is a milkweed variety and a host plant for Monarch butterflies. The beautiful and important (pollinators) monarch species is experiencing disastrous decline. since the 1980s population is down 90%. Cynanchum laeve might overwhelm bushes in the late summer, but it dies back in winter and you won't see a trace of it in early spring. It is excellent for all pollinators, but so important for the monarch's survival. Watch it closely and you can see the whole life cycle - from egg, to caterpillar, to chrysalis to new butterfly. My family has been doing this for generations. For more info, see and


On Sep 22, 2015, GreggB57 from Charles Town, WV wrote:

This vine must have given the ancients the idea for Medusa.
It is ridiculously prolific, a fast grower, and almost impossible to eradicate.

Its pluses are that (at least in our area*) it has a strong, very sweet scent that carries for up to six feet or so. Birds, bees, ants, and butterflies love its small white and yellow flowers and the provided nectar.

Warning: It will take over and smother anything it can climb. I have noticed that the only pest that attacks it are red/orange aphids, which soon knock it back for a time. Some people suggest trying to limit it by ripping it out anyplace it's not wanted, but that will be a never-ending task. If you plant it, you'd better be certain that you'll never want to rid your yard of it.

... read more


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 ... read more


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.


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.


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!


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... read more


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.