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Butterfly Weed

Butterfly Weed

Regular price $22.00
Regular price Sale price $22.00
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Asclepias tuberosa

*The current stock is dormant but has healthy root systems. 

Asclepias tuberosa, commonly known as butterfly weed, is a perennial plant native to Texas. It can grow in dry and rocky open woods, meadows, prairies, fields, and roadsides throughout the state. The plant usually grows in a clump to a height of 1-2.5 feet, and features clusters (umbels) of bright orange to yellow-orange flowers atop hairy stems with narrow, lance-shaped leaves. Unlike many other milkweeds, this species does not have milky-sapped stems.

The flowers of butterfly weed give way to spindle-shaped seed pods (3-6 inches long), which split open when they are ripe, releasing numerous silky-tailed seeds dispersed by the wind. The seed pods are valued in dried flower arrangements, and the plant has a long bloom period, lasting from late spring to summer. The flowers are a nectar source for many butterflies, and the leaves are a food source for monarch butterfly larvae (caterpillars). In the past, the plant's roots were used medicinally to treat lung inflammations, and the plant is also commonly known as pleurisy root.

Butterfly weed is easy to grow in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. It is drought tolerant and does well in poor, dry soils. New growth tends to emerge late in the spring, and the plants are quickly grown from seed. However, the plants may take 2-3 years to produce flowers. If seed pods are not removed before they split open, mature plants may freely self-seed in the landscape. Butterfly weed does not transplant well due to its deep taproot and is probably best left undisturbed once established.

Butterfly Host Plant: Monarch (Danaus plexippus), Queen ( Danaus gilippus), Milkweed Tussock Moth (Euchaetes egle)

Nectar Source Plant: Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), Giant Swallowtail ( Papilio cresphontes), Queen (Danaus gilippus), Tiger Swallowtail ( Papilio glaucus), Sulphur butterflies (Colias spp.), Crescent butterflies (Phyciodes spp.), Great spangled fritillary (Speyeria cybele)

Height: 1’-2'
Spread: 1’-1.5'
Bloom: June-September
Light: Full Sun, Part Shade
Water: Low, Medium
Zone: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Origin: Texas, United States

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