Click for previous Image Image 1 of 2 Cynanchum ascyrifolium Cruel Plant

Cynanchum ascyrifolium

Cruel Plant

Plant Type:


Cynanchum ascyrifolium (syn. Vincetoxicum ascyrifolium) – Open clusters of pure milk white starry flowers from axils in June and July are alluring. Strong stems support simple, matte-finish leaves. Foliage is relatively heavy textured and reminiscent in look, if not texture, of garden phlox. It's altogether handsome and very pretty in flower, somewhat unknown and underutilized. Why is its common moniker “cruel plant”? Well, maybe because it harbors medicinal uses as a diuretic, etc. but I suppose as with many plants with medicinal application a little can be salubrious, a lot can be bad news... Have I said too much? And if you are conspiring against someone, potentially cruel... just sayin'. One of its synonyms is Vincetoxicum. Poor Vince. Now I have said too much. Some of the Asian milkweeds are nasty, aggressive weeds for us. We grappled with one here for a number of years but with careful oversight eradicated it before it became a real problem. But Cynanchum ascyrifolium has thus far been well-behaved and is certainly pristine and beautiful. Site in fertile, draining soil in plenty of sun. Cutting grown or pot grown division.


24-28 in


12-18 in



Characteristics and Attributes for Cynanchum ascyrifolium

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Late Spring / Early Summer

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring / Summer


  • Mostly Sunny
  • Full Sun


  • Border
  • Massing
  • Rock Garden

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Medium


  • Fertile
  • Draining


  • China, Japan, Korea

Propagated By

  • Division
  • Cutting Grown