Asclepias tuberosa

Butterfly Weed (Butterfly Milkweed)

A tough, drought-tolerant native with intense orange flowers in mid to late summer. The flowers are followed by large pods which split open and release billowy seeds.

The nectar-rich flowers attract many varieties of butterflies as well as hummingbirds. Milkweed is a host plant for monarch butterflies. Females lay their eggs on the leaves. Once the eggs hatch, the yellow, black, and white striped larvae feed on the foliage before forming a chrysalis.

  • Perennial with dark green foliage and a low growing habit
  • Bright orange flowers in summer followed by billowy seed pods
  • Tough, native perennial used extensively in butterfly gardens and meadow plantings

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Landscape Characteristics
Classification by Use
Color Impact
Drought Tolerant
Mass Planting
Specialty Use
Butterfly Garden
Wildlife Garden
Animal Resistance
Deer Resistant
Light Requirement
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Growth Rate
Soil Moisture
Dry Soil
Average Water
Foliage Color
Growing & Maintenance Tips for Asclepias tuberosa

Best located in a sunny dry spot, but will tolerate average to moist garden soil as well. Does not do well in wet soils and does not compete well with surface-rooted trees. However, competes well with grass which makes butterfly weed ideal for meadow gardens. Plant is taprooted so handle plants gently and dig a deep hole when transplanting. Do not use fertilizer. Can be planted in fall or as dormant plants in spring.