Buttonbush
December 23, 2015
Butterflies Magnolia
December 23, 2015

Common Name: Butterfly Milkweed

Botanical Name: Asclepias tuberosa

Family: Asclepidaceae

Zone: 3-9

Height: 1-3′

Spread: 2′

Bloom Time: June, July

Bloom Description: Bright orange blooms are organized onto large clusters. Colors can vary from yellow to red-orange. The arrangement of the hood-shaped petals and prominent horn in the center of the bloom function as a means to trap pollinating visitors. As the visitors struggle with the flower, the pollen sacs stick to its appendages and pollination has begun.

Trail/Garden Location: Planted along the East Terrace and the Art Trail.

Garden Uses: This native perennial is best used in a border or wildlife garden. Due pay mind to the soil conditions, as Butterfly Weed has a tendency to rot is poorly-drained soil. Sandy, well-drained soil with full sun is ideal conditions.

Wildlife Benefits: Best known as the host plant for the Monarch butterfly. Recent efforts to eradicate milkweed from large and small scale farms in the upper Midwest as well as habitat destruction has led to the significant decline in the Monarch butterfly population. This is a great plant to add into any sunny garden that also serves as a nectar source for many species of butterflies and moths.

Leaf Type: The narrow leaves are dark green and arranged alternately up the stem.