Butterfly weed - Asclepias tuberosa

Butterfly Weed is a perennial native to Eastern and Southern United States. It typically grows in a clump to 30cm to 1m (1-3') tall and features clusters of bright orange to yellow-orange flowers from late spring throughout the summer. Flowers are a nectar source for many butterflies and leaves are a food source for monarch butterfly larvae. Unlike many of the other milkweeds, this species does not have milky-sapped stems. Flowers give way to prominent, spindle-shaped seed pods which split open when ripe releasing numerous silky-tailed seeds for dispersal by the wind. Seed pods are valued in dried flower arrangements.

Water Needs: 
Low
Foliage Color: 
Green
Flower Attributes: 
Long Bloom Time
Showy Flowers
Landscape Uses: 
Mass Planting
Garden Styles: 
Cottage
Modern
Xeriscape
Zen
Light Needs: 
Full Sun
Plant Types: 
Height: 
24-36"
Spread: 
12-24"
Flower Colors: 
Orange
Flower Seasons: 
Summer
Special Features: 
Attracts Butterflies
Deer Resistant
Growth Habits: 
Round
Upright
Cold Hardiness: 
Zone 3
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Butterfly Weed is easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. It is drought tolerant and even does well in poor, dry soils. New growth tends to emerge late in the spring. Plants are easily grown from seed, but are somewhat 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. Butterfly weed does not transplant well due to its deep taproot, and is probably best left undisturbed once established.

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