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Butterfly weed plants (Asclepias tuberosa) are trouble-free North American natives that produce umbels of bright orange, yellow or red blooms all summer long.Butterfly weed is appropriately named, as the nectar- and pollen-rich flowers attract hummingbirds and hordes of butterflies, bees and other beneficial insects throughout the blooming season. Asclepias tuberosa Perennial Forb Dogbane Family. Maryland Distribution: Poor, coarse soils of dry fields, rock outcrops, and other steep slopes throughout the state. Butterfly weed, a type of milkweed, is a favorite nectar plant for butterflies, and the leaves are eaten by the caterpillars of monarchs. The winner is the Asclepias incarnata, common name: Swamp milkweed Milkweeds in the genusAsclepias are one of the joys of summer.One of the most beautiful and easily recognizable species is the orange milkweed or butterfly-weed (Asclepias tuberosa).There are 10 other species of milkweed in our area through the northern Blue Ridge Mountains (summarized in the chart, below, with the taxonomic changes in milkweeds.) In the garden, butterfly weed looks great in Growing butterfly weed requires very little effort. Butterfly Weed with Tropical Milkweed Since many milkweed species serve as host plant for caterpillars and nectar source for butterflies, milkweeds also make good companion plants for each other. Is butterfly weed poisonous to humans, dogs, or cats? One of our showiest native wildflowers, butterfly weed is also a … However, when given a choice, their favorite milkweed by far, is the Asclepias incarnata, common name: Swamp milkweed. Butterfly weed is easy to grow. How to Cut Back Butterfly Milkweed. Height: Up to 3 feet Blooms: orange, June to September Sun: Part sun to full sun Soil: Well-drained, poor, dry, usually rocky or sandy soil Garden Use & Maintenance: A stunningly showy wildflower with a long bloom period. Butterfly Weed Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) Butterfly weed falls at the bottom of the list because most Monarchs prefer other milkweed plants. What is a butterfly weed? Monarch’s Favorite Milkweed. A. tuberosa (butterfly weed) has very low moisture levels, which does not allow the uptake of nitrogen. Butterfly weed is native to the prairies of the Midwestern United States. Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) produces green foliage through spring and summer and clusters of small red, orange or … Unlike common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) does not have the quickly spreading roots that qualify it as invasive. Their flowers attract several butterfly species, hence the common name. The monarch’s top 4 favorite milkweed species are bolded in the list below.. It is a big magnet for other butterflies as a nectar source. Plants grow 2 to 3 feet tall and produce flat-topped clusters of bright orange flowers from July through September. Butterfly bush is a large shrub that is a great nectar plant whereas Butterfly Weed is a short milkweed that can be used as a host plant by Monarchs as well as being a nectar plant. Butterfly weed is toxic to both humans and pets. The butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a member of the milkweed family. This means it takes much longer for the caterpillar to grow. Buddleja (Butterfly Bush) vs. Asclepias (Milkweed) If Milkweed were as aptly named as Butterfly Bush it might change the course of the world… or at least the migration of a few butterflies! Monarchs favor a variety of milkweeds, and in fact, with variety they’ll lay more eggs. 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