Balloon plant

Balloon plant (Asclepias physocarpa) is an invasive weed, introduced to Hawaii as a fiber crop. A member of the milkweed family, it is considered to have medicinal properties, but parts of the plant are also poisonous.

I saw several of these plants in a pasture occupied by livestock and, like the cow in the photo, they were avoiding the plants. Consequently, the pasture consisted of close-cropped grass and a generous sprinkling of these scrubby plants, 2- to 3-feet high, though they can grow to 6-feet tall.

The ‘balloons’ are actually the fruits of the plants. When ripe, they’ll burst and release a multitude of white silky-haired seeds.

4 thoughts on “Balloon plant

    • The plant is dotted through the cow pasture but, according to what I read about it, the cows won’t eat it unless they’re starving. Fortunately, these cows aren’t likely to get anywhere near that hungry.

      Liked by 1 person

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