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Tropical Milkweed/Mexican Milkweed

Asclepias curassavica


Root extracts of cancerillo are widely used in South America an emetic (induces vomiting) and laxative. The leaves and flowers of the plant are considered toxic and reports of smaller grazing animals dying from consumption of the leaves have been reported. In the Suriname rainforest, an extract of the root is used an emetic, expectorant, and laxative and employed for warts, fever, and to induce vomiting. A decoction of the entire plant is used as an abortifacient. The roots are commonly known as "pleurisy root" and used as an expectorant for pneumonia and pleurisy and other lung problems. In Jamaica, a poultice of the root is used to treat ringworm and to stop bleeding. The Caribs considered the root to be good medicine to reduce fevers, and in Africa it has been used for intestinal troubles with children.


I found this specimen in a forest in a mountainous region, in a transition between the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest.


This plant is toxic to cattle and can be lightly fatal. Reference of this information: [ ]

2 Species ID Suggestions

Tropical Milkweed
Asclepias curassavica Asclepias curassavica
DaneCole 8 years ago
Mexican Milkweed
Asclepias curassivica

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Spotted by

São José do Rio Pardo, São Paulo, Brazil

Spotted on Feb 11, 2013
Submitted on Feb 12, 2013

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