Butterfly Weed

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Asclepias tuberosa, 1/2-pint plug

Exposure: Sun-partial

Soil: Dry-medium

Height: 2'

Bloom: July-August

Notes: Very attractive, non-aggressive milkweed for gardens and restorations. Vibrant long-lasting orange blossoms give wonderful curb-appeal to any property, especially when paired with prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis).

Attracts: Insects and birds: The flower nectar attracts honeybees, digger bees (Melissodes spp.), leaf-cutting bees (Megachile spp.), Halictid bees (including green metallic bees), thread-waisted wasps (Ammophila spp.) and other Sphecid wasps, and butterflies, including Fritillaries (Speyeria spp.), Swallowtails (Papilio spp.), and the Monarch (Danaus plexippus). The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is also attracted to the flowers. Some insects feed on the leaves, flowers and buds, seedpods, and other parts of Butterfly Milkweed. These insects include larvae of the Blackened Milkweed Beetle (Tetraopes melanurus), the Small Milkweed Bug (Lygaeus kalmii), the Large Milkweed Bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus), larvae of the Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), and larvae of a moth, the Unexpected Cycnia (Cycnia inopinatus). Butterfly Milkweed is the preferred host plant of the Unexpected Cycnia moth. The Curve-tailed Bush Katydid (Scudderia curvicauda), was observed to feed on the leaves of this milkweed.