Butterfly Weed

Asclepias tuberosa
 
Hardy zones 3-9.

Herbaceous perennial with brilliant orange to yellow blooms that attracts butterflies.

Height 1-3 ft with a spread of 12-18 inches.

Full sun.

Late summer flowers are in terminal, flat-topped umbels. Each flower is solidly colored
orange or yellow with 5 reflexed petals and an erect hood extending beyond the central
column.
 
Grows in poor to average, dry to medium, well-drained soils. Drought tolerant once
established.
 
Butterfly weed does not transplant well due to its deep taproot, and is probably best
left undisturbed once established. Slow to establish and may take 2-3 years to produce
flowers.
 
Mature plants may freely self-seed in the landscape if seed pods are not removed
prior to splitting open.
 
The flowers attract butterflies, and it is one of the food plants for Queen (Danaus
gilippus) butterfly caterpillars.
 
Poisonous
– This plant is mildly poisonous, and harmful if eaten in large amounts.
 
 
Note: This is the planned plant for the area.  However, the plants we purchased did not
survive and were substituted with asclepias curassavica (tropical milkweed), a non hardy
(annual) milkweed variety which attracts monarchs.
 
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