Plant DetailShow Menu

Asclepias tuberosa is often confused with:
Asclepias variegata Asclepias variegata
Similar plants:
Monarda didyma Monarda didyma
Rudbeckia hirta Rudbeckia hirta
Silene virginica Silene virginica
Asclepias tuberosa has some common insect problems:
Aphids on Ornamental Landscape Plants

Milkweed Asclepias tuberosa

Other plants called Milkweed:

Phonetic Spelling
as-KLEE-pee-as too-ber-OH-sah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Asclepias tuberosa, commonly called butterfly weed, is a tuberous rooted, native perennial which occurs in dry/rocky open woods, glades, prairies, fields, and roadsides.  This plant is moderately salt tolerant.  Unlike many of the other milkweeds, this species does not have milky-sapped stems.

Butterfly weed is easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Drought tolerant. Does well in poor, dry soils. New growth tends to emerge late in the spring. Grow the plants easily from seed, but expect that it will take 2-3 years to establish and produce flowers. Mature plants may freely self-seed in the landscape if seed pods are not removed prior to splitting open and they can become somewhat weedy in disturbed areas.. Butterfly weed does not transplant well due to its deep taproot and is probably best left undisturbed once established.

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms:  Late Spring thru Summer            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Fall 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Crown rot can be a problem in wet, poorly drained soils. Susceptible to rust and leaf spot.

Cultivars:
Tags:
#native#red#butterflies#sun#yellow#birds#pollinators#partial shade#summer#orange#spring#wildlife plant#larval food#wildflowers#showy#honey bees#salt tolerant#larval plant#larval host#highly beneficial coastal plants#cpp
Cultivars:
Tags:
#native#red#butterflies#sun#yellow#birds#pollinators#partial shade#summer#orange#spring#wildlife plant#larval food#wildflowers#showy#honey bees#salt tolerant#larval plant#larval host#highly beneficial coastal plants#cpp
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Asclepias
    Species:
    tuberosa
    Family:
    Asclepiadaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Root has been used to treat lung conditions.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern and southern United States
    Wildlife Value:
    The flowers are a nectar source for many butterflies and insect pollinators. The plant is a larval host plant for monarch butterfly caterpillars.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is resistant to damage by deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Good Dried
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Dehiscent 4"-5" spindle-shaped follicle seed pods (3-6" long) release silky-tailed seeds which are dispersed by wind.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Crown
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    clusters (umbels) of bright orange to yellow-orange flowers atop upright to reclining hairy stems. The flowers have five sepals, five petals, and five stamens. Deadheading flowers ensures more blooms throughout the season.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    lance-shaped to narrowly egg-shaped leaves scattered singly along the stem; to 4 in. long, reclining, ascending to somewhat erect, hairy stems that branch toward the summit
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Houseplants
    Naturalized Area
    Small Space
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Erosion
    Rabbits
    Salt
  • Poison:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Vomiting, stupor, weakness, spasms
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Cardiac glycosides and resinoids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Stems