Asclepias tuberosa
Asclepias tuberosa photo courtesy of Walters Gardens

Orange Butterfly Weed

The brilliantly coloured orange flowers of Asclepias tuberosa are a magnet for butterflies and other nectar seeking insects. It is an essential host plant for the Monarch Butterfly. The plant habit is attractive all season long. It is a good cut flower and the seed pods dry beautifully. The ornamental seed pods remain on the plant well into the late fall when they dry out and open and the fluffy seeds drift away.

  • Height: 61 - 91 cm (24 - 34 in)
  • Spread: 46 - 61 cm (18 - 24 in)
  • Cold Hardiness: Zone 3
  • Sun or Shade: sun
  • Bloom Time: midsummer
  • Leaf Colour: green
  • Bloom Colour: orange
  • Critter Resistance: deer and rabbits
  • Nature Attraction: butterflies

Growing and Maintenance Tips

Asclepias tuberosa is a low maintenance native plant that is tolerant of drought and adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions, but it does require full sun. It will thrive in sandy or gravelly soil because, in its native habit, it grows along the edge of sandy roadsides. It is very tap rooted and cannot be easily transplanted. This plant is very late to emerge in the spring so its location should be marked to prevent accidental damage during spring cleanup.

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