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Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Image: North Creek Nurseries


Asclepias tuberosa, or the Butterfly Weed, is a tuberous 1.5-2' tall perennial featuring bright orange clustered flowers on branching stems. Flowers bloom in mid-late summer and is an important nectar source for various butterflies and hummingbirds, and its foliage provide food for monarch butterfly larvae and other insects. It tolerates drought, deer, clay, and salt.



The Butterfly Weed grows well with dry soils in full sun, but can tolerate average to moist garden soils. Avoid poorly-drained, moist garden soil as crown rot may form, and competition with surface rooted trees. Butterfly Weeds can compete well with grass, making it ideal for meadow gardens. Like many other milkweeds, this milkweed will form deep taproots once established and release seed in the wind when pods have matured and split. You can propagate the plant by root cuttings and seed. Unlike other milkweeds, the Butterfly Milkweed does not have any sap when cut or bruised.


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