Featured Perennial of the Week

Asclepias tuberosa

 

 

 

 

Asclepias tuberosa is better known by its common name of butterfly weed. This plant is actually an attractive perennial well suited to formal and informal perennial beds. The plant is late to break dormancy in spring but will reach an average height of two feet by mid-July when it begins to produce very showy bright orange flowers which last about a month. The flowers are followed by green seed pods which produce long silky hairs which are often used in cut flower arrangements. These plants have tap roots and are therefore difficult to transplant once established.

 

This native perennial adapts well to poor, dry soils but will also tolerate periods of wetness quite well. The plant received its common name of butterfly weed because numerous species of butterflies are attracted to it. Monarchs especially are drawn to this plant. Hummingbirds also find Asclepias tuberosa attractive during the mid-summer bloom season. This perennial is mostly disease and insect free and relatively easy to grow.

 

We have a good supply of healthy butterfly weeds available at Rose Hill Gardens. We also carry another cultivar of these plants that can produce red flowers instead of the more common brilliant orange ones normally seen.