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Asclepias tuberosa

Butterfly Weed

Butterfly weed produces loads of bright orange flower clusters from early summer into autumn. The bright flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. It is a host plant for Grey Hairstreak, Monarch and  Queen butterflies. The dried seedpods are often used in dried flower arrangements. This is an essential plant if you want to attract a variety of butterflies to your property, especially Monarchs.

Benefits

Bright flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies
Host plant for Grey Hairstreak, Monarch and Queen butterflies
Seedpods are often used in dried flower arrangements
Essential plant if you want to attract butterflies
Prefers moist, rocky soils, but will grow in dry situations too
Deer tend to leave this plant alone

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. Plants have deep taproots and are best left undisturbed once established. Like many milkweeds, plants are slow to emerge from the ground in spring.


Height
18-30 Inches

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Spread
12-24 Inches

USDA Hardiness Zone 3-9

Native Range

Sandy soils and upland woods; New Hampshire to South Dakota south to Arizona, Mexico and Florida.

Distribution Maps by State and County

Native Trivia

Milkweeds are the host plant for Monarch butterflies. The entire lifecycle of these butterflies, from caterpillars to adults, revolves around this plant.


"Milkweeds provide loads of nectar and serve as a food sources for Monarch caterpillars."

Good Companions
Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Oxeye Daisy (Heliopsis helianthoides), Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa), Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans), White Heath Aster (Aster ericoides), Side Oats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula)

Characteristics & Attributes

Plan Sub Group
Low Perennials
Medium Perennials
Exposure
Filtered Shade
Sun
Soil
Saline or alkaline
Well-drained
Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Dry
Moist but well-drained
Attracts Wildlife
Beneficial insects
Butterflies
Bloom Time
Late Spring / Early Summer
Summer
Critter Resistance
Deer Resistant
Habitat Collection
Butterfly
Native Habitat
Grassland
Foliage Color
Green
Uses
Accent
Border
Cut or dried flower
Drought tolerant
Erosion control
Meadow
Naturalizes
Rock garden
Native to
Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin