Q: I found an odd vine twining in my gardenia. The leaves are heart-shaped, but thinner than a morningglory. The seed pod is most odd: it is four inches long, tapered, and filled with seed that look like milkweed seed, i.e. each seed has a long white tail. Can you identify it?
A: You are astute to notice that the seed of this vine resemble milkweed seed. It is indeed a member of the Asclepias (milkweed) family.
One common name is climbing milkweed vine. Another is honeyvine milkweed. The scientific name is Cynanchum laeve but some still call it by its older scientific name Ampelamus albidus.
Just as there are two scientific names. there are two opinions about the vine: “weed” or “attractive annual vine”.
It does feed monarch butterfly larvae…but the abundance of seed that each seed pod produces causes me to class it as a weed.