Balloon Plant Milkweed – Gomphocarpus physocarpus

Balloon Plant, Gomphocarpus physocarpus, is a member of the milkweed family although not normally labeled an Asclepias species.

Called by several common names, it is a popular non-native milkweed in the United States. It is also called Cotton-bush,Hairy Balls, Oscar, and Swan Plant. Many people disagree with this plant carrying the common name ‘swan’ as it is more correctly applied to Gomphocarpus fruticosus. The seed pod of Gomphocarpus fruticosus is shaped like the body of a swan. Growing conditions and habit are the same for both species.

Zones 6-9

Annual or tender perennial

Blooms: White to lavender

Height: 7′ and possibly taller

Full sun to light shade

Propagation: Seed

Seed pods: Round, rough textured ball shaped with small soft spikes

Drought tolerant