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Butterflyweed, Butterfly milkweed
Asclepias tuberosa

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

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.

Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

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.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Susan Trammell

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Other data on Asclepias tuberosa available from:

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