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Asclepias tuberosa (Butterfly weed)

Asclepias tuberosa Photo/Illustration: Steve Aitken

(Based on 5 user reviews)

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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Asclepias tuberosa ah-SKLEE-pee-us too-ber-OH-sah Common Name: Butterfly weed Genus: Asclepias
Butterfly weed is a native perennial with flat-topped, orange or yellow flower clusters at the ends of its stems or in its leaf axils. From midsummer to autumn, it produces clusters of brightly colored flowers that attract insects, followed by fruit and showy seed. Plant in a border, meadow, butterfly garden, or wildflower garden.
Noteworthy characteristics: Very bright orange or yellow flowers. U.S. native. This plant's milky white sap may irritate skin. Its stiff, thick branches may act as treillage to support weaker neighboring plants. Attracts bees and butterflies. May be slow to emerge in spring.
Care: Needs full sun and fertile, well-drained, loamy soil. They have taproots and resent disturbance.
Propagation: Sow seeds in a cold frame in early spring. Divide plants or take basal cuttings in spring.
Problems: Aphids and mealybugs can be a problem when flowering. In the southeast, rust and leaf spot are common.
Height 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Spread 1 ft. to 3 ft.
Growth Habit Clumps
Light Full Sun Only
Moisture Dry to Medium
Maintenance Low
Characteristics Attracts Birds; Attracts Butterflies; Attracts Hummingbirds; Self Seeds; Showy Flowers; Showy Seed Heads
Bloom Time Early Fall; Fall; Late Summer; Summer
Flower Color Orange/ Salmon Flower; Yellow Flower
Style Cottage Garden, Meadow Garden
Seasonal Interest Summer Interest, Fall Interest
Type Perennials

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