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Butterfly Weed

Asclepias tuberosa

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Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Asclepias tuberosa flowers

Asclepias tuberosa flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  24 inches

Flower Height:  32 inches

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  2b

Ornamental Features

Butterfly Weed has fragrant orange flat-top flowers with gold overtones at the ends of the stems from mid to late summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its narrow leaves remain green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Butterfly Weed is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Butterfly Weed is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Butterfly Weed will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity extending to 32 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 inches. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided. This species is native to parts of North America.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Garden  Naturalizing 
Applications
Flowers  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features