European swallowwort

Gentianales > Asclepiadaceae > Cynanchum rossicum (Kleopov) Barbarich
Synonym(s): pale shallow-wort

European swallowwort is an herbaceous, twinning, long-lived perennial vine. Leaves are opposite, dark green, oval, shiny, 3-4 in. (7.6-10.2 cm) long and 2-3 in. (5.1-7.6 cm) wide. Flowering occurs in June to July, when pink to reddish, 5-petaled, star-shaped flowers appear in clusters. Flowers are approximately 0.25 in. (0.6 cm) across and are covered with white hairs. Fruit are pods, similar to milkweed pods, which are slender, 2-3 in. (5.1-7.6 cm) long and split to reveal small seeds with tufts of white hair. The hair allows the seeds to be readily dispersed. European swallowwort invades upland areas with a wide range of light and moisture conditions. European swallowwort is native to Europe and was likely introduced into the United States for ornamental purposes.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

  • Weeds of the Week - USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area, Forest Health Protection

Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Feature(s); Comparision of flowers of Cynanchum louiseae (top) and Cynanchum rossicum (bottom)
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s); Close-up of fruit with seeds
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Connecticut - Noxious Weed Law
  • Massachusetts - Noxious Weed Law
  • New Hampshire - Noxious Weed Law
  • Invasive Plant Atlas of New England


External Links


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USDA Forest Service Bugwood University of Georgia