Funastrum clausum is a vigorous vine with long stems capable of climbing to great lengths. It is commonly known as white twine-vine or white milkweed-vine and is usually associated with wet areas such as ditches, pond margins, and the edges of mangroves and swamps. The plant is tolerant of disturbance and is occasionally found in overgrown thickets in old empty lots and along railroad tracks. It has a variety of horticultural uses and can be grown in a moist, sunny area wherever a vigorous, freely flowering vine is desired. It is also highly recommended for insect and butterfly gardens since the sweetly fragrant flowers attract a wide variety of insects and the foliage is eaten by the caterpillars of monarch, queen, and soldier butterflies.
Funastrum clausum is native to Florida and Texas in the United States. Outside of the United States, it occurs throughout a very wide area from Mexico to Argentina, as well as in the Caribbean.
Until recently, this plant was known as Sarcostemma clausum and it is still found under that name in many publications and web sites.
© 2010 Rufino Osorio.