Asclepias physocarpa has the rather bawdy common name of “Hairy Balls”.
Because of the large, inflated, hairy, green seed pods.
So gardeners of a delicate disposition – be warned – please use one of the many other common names for this beloved and popular plant.
Because Asclepias physocarpa is also known as “The Family Jewels Bush” (oh dear – still indelicate and suggestive) or “Swan Plant”, or “Balloon Plant” or “Bishop’s Balls” (oh dear – it is getting worse).
Prized by florists
But the seed pods are always prized by florists, no matter what common name you choose.
Because the “Hairy Balls” are long-lasting in the vase, and are always sure to draw attention to any arrangement.
But the seed pods also look like fat little swans, so they can be floated in a bowl of water to make a mini swan lake.
So the alternative common name of “Swan Plant” is also very popular.
Attractive flowers & vanilla scent
The hairy green pods come after attractive pink & cream flowers, which are also sweetly scented of vanilla.
So Asclepias physocarpa is not just all about the seed pods.
And the long summer blooming is extended into the autumn with the unmissable, eye-smacking, seed pods on upright perennial stems.
A good old fashioned hardy standby
In days gone by, no self-respecting cottage or farm garden would be seen dead without a “Swan Plant”.
Because they are resilient and hardy growers, in the face of all sorts of difficult conditions.
So they are best planted in Full Sun.
Where they are water-wise perennials, and noted for heat & drought resistance.
Asclepias physocarpus will self seed in the garden in ideal conditions.
And it is not suitable for sending to QLD.
1.2m H x 90cm W.
SOWING ADVICE: QUICK & EASY
Sow any time indoors in punnets / or scatter directly in garden in autumn.
INDOORS: Sow on surface of good quality seed raising mix.
Press seeds gently into surface. Cover with 3mm sieved mix.
Keep moist in a warm, well-lit position.
Temperatures of 15-25°C are ideal for rapid and optimum germination.
Seedlings may begin emerging as soon as 10 days, but normally take 14-28 days approx.
SEED COUNT: 10 seeds per pack approx.
(We always aim to exceed the stated seed count, and give a generous serve).