Aesclepias curassavica


Healing Challenges


  • Alienation within the family.
  • For the teenager who feels they have 'outgrown' the family.
  • For manipulative behaviour, which disrupts the family.
  • For the quiet, withdrawn child.
  • For learning difficulties.
  • For the child displaying bullying behaviour.
  • For over-dependency.
  • For the child who has suffered childhood abuse of any kind, verbal, physical, or sexual.

Healing Outcomes

  • Assists in developing individuality, while still within the safety of family.
  • Encourages sensitivity to the needs of the group.
  • Develops a child’s creativity.
  • Smoothes the transition times of childhood.
  • Improves a child’s self-confidence, self-empowerment, and resourcefulness.
  • For healing the inner child.
  • Activates a sense of humour.


Commonly known as a weed, this beautiful little flower has a milky sap in the stem. All milkweeds are poisonous if ingested, and the milky sap is a skin irritant. It has a number of common names: Red Cottonhead, Scarlet Milkweed or Blood Flower. It is an erect, evergreen perennial subshrub, often grown as an annual.

Like most milkweeds, it has opposite leaves. The leaves are about 12.5 centimetres long, narrowly elliptic and pointed at both ends. Scarlet Milkweed gets about 0.6–0.9 metres tall and usually has a few pairs of symmetrical branches.

The flowers are yellow and red and borne in terminal and axillary clusters that are five to ten centimetres across. It blooms continuously from spring until autumn. Most flowers have a ring of sepals, collectively called a calyx. Above that is a ring of petals, collectively called a corolla, which is a bright, vibrant red. Milkweeds have an additional ring of appendages that sits above the corolla like a crown; it is called a corona. In scarlet milkweed, the corolla is usually crimson and the corona is yellow. Sitting above the corona are five anthers, standing up around a central pistil.

The fruits are spindle-shaped pods, 7.6–10.2 cm long, that eventually split open to release little flat seeds that drift away on silky parachutes.

Scarlet Milkweed is easy to grow, thriving in dry, moist and even wet soils. The leaves are sometimes attacked by aphids, which produce excrement (called honeydew!). This is turn is colonized by a greyish black fungus called sooty mould. None of this is life threatening to the milkweed, and eventually some other predators (such as ladybugs) will come along and polish off the aphids.

Butterflies and other nectar-sipping insects are attracted to the blossoms, and both Monarch and Queen butterflies lay their eggs on scarlet milkweed. The dried pods are used in arrangements.

Doctrine of Signatures

When the flowers open, they display a brilliant yellow centre consisting of five anthers covered with a fleshy appendage known as a corona, standing up around a central pistil. The anthers are formed into a circle and look like a group of miniature human beings standing around with their backs to each other. As the petals open, they appear to form five distinct legs. The yellow centre stands up above the ‘legs’ proudly erect.

Known as blood flower, this bright and colourful little plant looks like it could be a toy in a child’s nursery. The arrangement of the flower is like family, standing with their backs to the world, their attention directed inward. The name blood flower suggests blood relationship and the sap in the stem suggests milk as nourishment, as a child is nurtured in infancy. Interestingly, the sap is poisonous, but not to the beautiful Monarch and Queen butterflies that feed on it, which is mindful of the way that a child loves the food it was reared on, but can often be wary of food served in other households and reacts to it as if it were poisonous.

The little plant attracts aphids, which in turn attract black sooty mould; just as in a family, the troubles and difficulties that affect the family wash off without damage because of the sense of security provided by the unit. By standing together, the family can offset trauma and drama with minimum effect.


Annie Meredith's Australian Wild Flower Essences Milkweed EssenceAnnie Meredith's Australian Wild Flower Essences Milkweed Essence


For further discussion and case studies on Milkweed, please purchase the book, Spirit of Woman Australian Wild Flower EssencesAnnie Meredith's Spirit of WOman Australian Wild Flower Essences