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


  • 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)


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


Mississippi - Butterfly weeds look brilliant along roadsides, in gardens


Texas - Butterfly Weed



Connect with us

  • Facebook
  • YouTube


This is where you can find research-based information from America's land-grant universities enabled by



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