Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Mark A. Miller
ASCLEPIAS tuberosa( Gay Butterflies Group)
Butterfly Milkweed, Butterfly Weed, Gay Butterflies Butterfly Weed
Members of the Gay Butterflies group are distinguished by their very large flower clusters, vigorous sturdy plants and extended bloom time. They come in an array of colors such as tangerine orange, golden yellow and deep orange-red.
The colorful perennial wildflower butterfly weed is native to much of the United States and southern Canada. It is adapted to open meadows and old fields and offers bright color to sunny summer gardens.
From summer to fall butterfly weed in the Gay Butterflies group produce very large clusters of bright orange, orange-red or yellow flowers that appear atop stems lined with green strap-like leaves. The individual flowers are complex and crown-shaped, and the stems emit a white milky latex if broken. The distinctive fruits are prominent bulbous follicles that split down one side to reveal many seeds topped with airy plumes of silvery white hairs that catch the wind and carry the seeds away. Butterfly weed will rebloom more reliably if spent flowers are removed.
This tough perennial prefers a sunny location with well-drained, average soil. It has a substantial taproot that is sensitive to disturbance, so plants do not transplant well and are best propagated from seed. This adaptable and desirable perennial is great for sunny beds, wildflower or butterfly gardens. The dried pods are also used in everlasting flower arrangements making these plants equally suitable for cutting gardens.
As its name would suggest, a wide array of butterflies are attracted to butterfly weed. In fact, Monarch larvae and adults specifically rely on Asclepias for food and defense. When their young eat the foliage they become distasteful to predators.
9 - 3
4 - 9
A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm
Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall
Clay, Loam, Sand
Yellow, Orange, Orange Red
Brown, Sandy Brown
Green, Dark Green
Cutflower, Mixed Border, Wildflower
Preferred Commerce. All Rights Reserved.