Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) - Native Butterfly Host Plant

Shady Oak Butterfly Farm


Butterfly Weed

Asclepias tuberosa

Also known as: Butterfly milkweed, Orange milkweed, Pleurisy root

Plant Type: Perennial

Zones: 3-9

Height: 1-3 ft.

Plant Spacing: 12 in.

Light Requirements: Full sun

Water Requirements: Can tolerate drought once established

Soil Requirements: Grows best in well-drained, sandy soil

Host Plant For: Monarch, Queen, and Soldier butterflies

Starter Plants are not large enough to feed larvae.

Two 4" potted plants will feed 1 larvae.

Butterfly Weed is a native milkweed variety that grows throughout most of the United States and Eastern Canada. The bright orange and yellow blooms of Butterfly Weed are quite vivid. Orange-colored flowers are more common in the east, and yellow-colored flowers are more commonly seen in the west.

As a perennial, it dies back each winter and grows new in the spring. The tough, thick roots were chewed by Native Americans as a treatment for pulmonary problems, including pleurisy, causing it to go by the name Pleurisy Root. (Shady Oak does not endorse ingesting any part of the Butterfly Weed plant.)

Butterfly Weed is a host plant for Monarch, Queen, and Soldier butterflies. Look for pale yellow eggs and striped caterpillars on leaves and flowers. Unlike most milkweed varieties, Butterfly Weed does not have a milky sap. Add Butterfly Weed to your butterfly garden and enjoy its unique bright color!