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Butterflyweed, Butterfly milkweed
Asclepias tuberosa
Apocynaceae


General Landscape Uses:

Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also wildflower and butterfly gardens.

Ecological Restoration Notes:

An occasional but widespread understory herb in pinelands.
Availability:
Occasionally grown by native plant nurseries.
Available at Indian Trails Native Nursery in Lake Worth (561-641-9488).
Description:
Small, somewhat sprawling wildflower.
Dimensions:
Typically 1-2 feet in height. Usually taller than broad, but sometimes falling over and forming small patches.
Growth Rate:
Moderate.
Range:
Widespread in North America south to Miami-Dade and Collier counties; northeastern Mexico.
Habitats:
Pinelands.
Soils:
Moist, well-drained calcareous or sandy soils, without humus.
Nutritional Requirements:
Low; it grows in nutrient poor soils.
Salt Water Tolerance:
Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.
Salt Wind Tolerance:
Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.
Drought Tolerance:
High; does not require any supplemental water once established.
Light Requirements:
Full sun.
Flower Color:
Red, orange or yellow.
Flower Characteristics:
Showy.
Flowering Season:
All year.
Fruit:
Slender pod (follicle) with wind dispersed seeds.
Wildlife and Ecology:
Larval host plant for monarch (Danaus plexippus) and rarely queen (Danaus gilippus) butterflies; possible larval host of soldier (Danaus eresimus) butterflies. Nectar plant for monarch (Danaus plexippus) and other butterflies. Also provides nectar for other insects.
Horticultural Notes:
Grown from seed, which may require chilling for a few weeks if fresh. Young plants are somewhat sensitive and should not be disturbed until established.
Comments:
An excellent butterfly plant for the garden.


 


Roger L. Hammer
Susan Trammell
Keith A. Bradley
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton
Shirley Denton