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Asclepias tuberosa
Butterfly Weed
Most photos by Ann Grandy and Sally J.A.Finzel, unless otherwise noted to the left. Please ask for permission before using images.

Please Plant these for the Monarch Butterfly!

Please note: These plants are slow to come up in the spring and we will not ship them until they show some signs of new growth. Seedlings (6-packs) may be shipped earlier. Mature plants may still be dormant if shipped with other plants earlier in the spring. They are one of the last wildflowers to "poke their heads" up from the earth!

Soil: Mesic (Medium) to Xeric (Dry)
Sun: Full to Part
Height: 2'-3'
Color: Orange
Blooms: June-August
Flowers: Each flower has 5 recurved petals around a central crown. They bloom in 2" clusters at the top of the plant.
Leaves: The leaves are 3-6" long, simple, alternate, lance-shaped, shiny green, smooth on top and soft underneath. They grow on a single, unbranched stalk.

Suggested Uses:

  Butterfly Weed has very showy orange flowers in mid-summer. They also have interesting and attractive seed pods late summer and into fall. These plants like a sandier well-drained soil and are a major source of food for the larval stage of the Monarch butterfly! Monarch Butterflies are in serious decline. Please plant Milkweeds!


Interesting Facts

Medicinal Uses: Milkweeds can be toxic if not properly prepared. Butterfly Weed has been used by Native Americans to treat: snow blindness, diarrhea, swelling, sore throat, colic and snakebite. It was also used as a contraceptive and to increase milk production in nursing mothers. Early settlers used a tea made from the roots to treat lung aliments.
Food Uses: Roots, shoots, and immature flower buds and stems were eaten by several Native American tribes.
Other Uses: The primary use for Butterfly Weed and other members of the milkweed family was as fiber for cordage. In the fall, the plants are cut and split to remove the long fibers. The fibers are then twisted together to form string or yarn which is used in clothing or rope. It is often combined with the fiber from Indian Hemp.
More Info: This milkweed has clear sap, as opposed to the milky sap produced by the other members if the Milkweed family.
Name: The name Asclepias is from the name of the Greek god of medicine, Asklepios, while tuberosa describes the knobby root system.
Other Names: Orange Milkweed, Chigger Weed, Pleurisy Root

Option Price Quantity
Seed Packets
(at least 25 seeds)
3 1/2-inch pots $4.25
6-pack $6.95
5 3/4-inch pots $7.95
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Do not use native plants for food or medicine based on the information in this website. The information listed here is included for entertainment only, not as a recommendation. Please do not eat any native plants!

Morning Sky Greenery is a Minnesota Native Plant Nursery, growing native plants for shoreline restoration, raingardens and infiltration basins, and backyard butterfly, birdwatcher and pollinator gardens. We carry many native plants of North America, specifically midwest varieties. We have the expertise and the plants available to make any size native landscape or garden project a success!

MN Native Wildflowers and Grasses • Native Prairie Plants • Native Plants of North America &bull Shoreline Restoration &bull Native Raingardens