Angle-Pod (Sand Vine;Climbing Milkweed; Blue Vine)

Cynanchum laeve
Family: 
Asclepiadaceae (milkweeds)
Description: 

A perennial, vigorous, aggressive climber that can cover fences and shrubs. Flowers in open groups arising on stalks from the leaf axils. Flowers are white, tiny, and strongly scented; the corolla lobes stand upright around a fleshy corona. Blooms July–September. Leaves heart-shaped to triangular, opposite, to 3 inches long. Unlike many other milkweeds, this species has clear latex and thus has watery sap (not milky). Fruit a large, tapering pod; seeds are attached to tufts of white silky hairs and are released on warm days in late winter or early spring.

Size: 
The stems of this vine can reach lengths of 33 feet.
Habitat and conservation: 
Occurs in bottomland forests, banks of rivers and streams, and margins of ponds and lakes; also in cultivated and fallow fields, gardens, yards, fencerows, thickets, railroads, roadsides, and other disturbed areas. This plant establishes a complex, deep root system and is dispersed by wind-borne seeds, which fly from the milkweed pods on silky “parachutes” and can go anywhere the wind blows. They are also distributed by floating on water.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Common in northern and eastern Missouri, scattered in the remainder of the state.
Status: 
Often considered a noxious weed, this native vine itself becomes a valuable miniature habitat for native insects. Many butterflies, bees, wasps, and others drink nectar from the flowers, but one commonly also sees clusters of yellow-orange aphids drinking sap from the stems. They, in turn, draw ladybird beetles and other predatory insects, which feast upon them. Many of these insects are preyed upon by birds, spiders, and more.
Human connections: 
Beloved by bees, butterflies, and other insects for its nectar, angle-pod is a problem weed of crop fields and gardens, where it can be difficult to eradicate. Some do cultivate it as an ornamental and as a native plant in butterfly gardens, and beekeepers value it as an excellent honey plant.
Ecosystem connections: 
This native milkweed vine provides needed nectar for monarch butterflies as they migrate southward in late summer. Monarchs also lay their eggs on the plant, and their larvae feed on the foliage. Doing so, they ingest toxic milkweed chemicals that, in turn, make the insect toxic to its predators.
Shortened URL
http://mdc.mo.gov/node/17558