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What is it? Asclepias tuberosa, commonly known as butterfly weed, is a perennial species of milkweed.

Native to where? It is native to eastern and southwestern North America.

What does it look like? It has long-lasting, bright orange flowers, and grows to 2 feet tall. The leaves are spirally arranged and alternating. The fruit pod is 3–6 in long, containing many long-haired seeds.

Bloom Time: It blooms from April to September.

Growth Habit: In an ideal location, a mature Butterfly Weed can become a very showy specimen, with multiple flowering stems spreading across a two-foot-high plant. Mature plants have a deep tap root that extends down a foot or more. They can be transplanted if dug carefully, during dormancy.

Growing Conditions: It prefers dry to medium soil of loam, sand, or gravel in full sun.

Hardiness Zone: Plants are hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9.

Environmental Benefits: Butterflies are attracted to the plant by its color and its copious production of nectar. It is a larval food plant of the queen and monarch butterflies.


Image Sources:

By Photo by Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man) - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5,

By Photo by and (c)2009 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man) - Self-photographed, GFDL 1.2,

Butterfly Weed

  • Plant Pickup Day is Saturday, May 18 at Nanny Park, corner of 5th Street and Oak Street in Baraboo, from 9 am to 12 pm. 

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