Asclepias tuberosa, commonly known as Butterfly Weed is a beautiful native perennial species of milkweed. Milkweed is the only plant that hosts our wonderful, native, Monarch Butterfly, from egg to caterpillar, to chrysalis, to butterfly.
These wonderful plants love sunny locations in well-draining clay, loam, or sandy soils. They are very low maintenance as they are drought tolerant and deer resistant. A notable feature of this native is that is one of the very few natives with orange blooms! These blooms typically last from May through September.
Butterfly Weed is a wonderful choice for formal gardens or prairie gardens, as they grow anywhere from 1-3′ in width and height. These plants are named tuberose for the taproot that they form. You might notice at some point, Butterfly Weeds with Aphids on them, but they will not kill the plant.
By not applying pesticides, natural predators will take care of these tiny pests.
Aphids also allow Monarch caterpillars easier access to the plants’ nutrients. You’ll notice that as fall approaches, the plant forms seed pods, as pictured below. Once these seed pods open up, they can be harvested and saved for over-winter stratification and planting.
All-in-all, Butterfly Weed is a vital plant to add to your garden to help support the endangered Monarch Butterflies! Contact us today to talk about how, together, we can help support our butterfly population!