Plants for Water Wise Pollinator Gardens: Orange Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape November 14, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

Plant Family

         

 

Butterflies visiting Orange Butterfly Weed flowers
Photo credit: Al_HikesAZ FLickr CC BY-NC 2.0

 

 

Orange Butterfly Weed
Photo credit: Anthony Zukoff Flickr CC B-NC-SA 2.0

Milkweed Family (Asclepiadaceae)


Common Names

Orange butterfly weed, Butterfly milkweed

Description

  • One of many native milkweeds found throughout the United States and parts of Canada
  • Hhardy and long lived
  • Grows to about 2 to 3 feet high and wide
  • Brilliant orange flowers bloom mid-summer
  • Some cultivars are available in yellow
  • Tolerates dry, well drained soils with no additional fertilizer
  • Needs full sun
  • Hardy to -33 degrees Farenheit (Cultivars may be less cold tolerant)


Attracts

Orange butterfly weed is a particularly important food source for the adult and caterpillar stages of a variety of butterfly species.

 


Additional Resources:

USDA NRCS Plants Database

Southeast

Mississippi - Butterfly weeds look brilliant along roadsides, in gardens

Southwest

Texas - Butterfly Weed


 

 

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USDA / NIFA

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.