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Butterfly Weed

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Botanical Name:

Asclepias tuberosa

Carpenter Bee on Butterfly Weed

Carpenter Bee on Asclepias tuberosa
Photo by Tracie Bowers

Common Name(s):

Butterfly Weed, Pleurisy Root


Herbaceous Perennial


Unlike many milkweeds Butterfly weed does not have milky-sapped stems. Flowers are a food source for many types of butterflies and the leaves are eaten by the Monarch larvae. May take 2-3 years to establish and produce many flowers. Crown rot can be a problem in wet poorly drained soils.

Butterfly Weed

Butterfly Weed
Photo by Tracie Bowers

1-2.5 feet

Flowering Period:
June to early September

Flower Color:

Butterfly gardens, prairies, naturalized areas

USDA zones 3-9

Easily grown from seeds. Plant produces seed pods that will split open and disperse silky seeds. Difficult to transplant because of the long taproot.

Full Sun

Easily grown in average to medium soils. Also does well in poor dry soils.

Mountains, Piedmont, Coastal Plain

Butterfly Weed seed pod

Butterfly Weed Seed Pod
Photo by Tracie Bowers

Eastern and Southern United States

Pollinator(s) attracted:

Butterflies, Bees

Page by Tracie Bowers EMGV

Pollinator Haven Logo image

Pollinator Haven Logo