Asclepias tuberosa, Butterflyweed



 
Asclepias tuberosa, Butterflyweed, is named for its ability to attract Monarch butterflies. This perennial, however, is the only fully orange-red milkweed found throughout most of southern, eastern, and even northeastern Minnesota in well-drained or dry savannas, meadows, and prairies. It is a favorite of Monarchs laying eggs and you will often find several caterpillars defoliating it mid to late summer. Not to worry. Butterflyweed will bounce back once caterpillars move on. 

For those who have had difficulty growing this striking plant, success most often comes to Butterflyweed grown in well-draining, medium to dry soils. Add crushed rock, very course sand, or other aerating amendment if your soils are not already well-draining. Mature Butterflyweed does not respond well to transplanting -so pick the best spot when planting. 

Bloom: yellow-orange-red, June into September

Height: 1 to 2 feet

Conditions: sun to pt sun, well-draining medium to dry soils 

A sizeable patch of Butterflyweed in its different yellow-orange-red shades