Sunday, November 08, 2009

Nature Notes: Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)




Butterfly Weed is a native herbaceous perennial. Though it is a member of the milkweed family it 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. Plants are easily grown from seed, but are somewhat slow to establish and may take 2-3 years to produce flowers. Mature plants may freely self-seed in the landscape if seed pods are not removed prior to splitting open. Butterfly weed does not transplant well due to its deep taproot, and is probably best left undisturbed once established.





Butterfly Weed has a long bloom period from late spring throughout the summer. Flowers are a nectar source for many butterflies and leaves are a food source for monarch butterfly larvae (caterpillars).





Great Spangled Fritillary butterflies are among the species attracted to Butterfly Weed by its color and its copious production of nectar.


We hope the Butterfly Weed's wind-borne seeds have a successful journey and establish many more plants for future years.

All photos are by Jo.








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9 comments:

Paula Werner Severo said...

wonderfulf!... really a great photos! Congratulations!

Squirrel said...

These are really awesome photos!!

TSannie said...

What Gorgeous photos! I thought just the true milkweed had seeds like that. I love learning new things!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Alright, you had me fooled. I thought this was milkeweed pods. Ha... I will have to get out there and look at my butterfly weed. I want to see those little fly aways. Wonderful photos Marvin.

Lana Gramlich said...

Such lovely shots. So delicate. Nice capture of the light.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love the way the light plays in these seeds and the butterflies are gorgeous

tess said...

Such poetry in science!

ramblingwoods.com said...

Welcome to Nature Notes..I love the photos and explanation. I was thrilled to find common milkweed growing near our woods that I hadn't seen before. I hope to see some monarchs there next year... Thank you for joining Nature Notes as your blog is so well suited for it... Michelle

braenz said...

Beautiful photographs, thank you for sharing.