COMMON NAME: Butterflyweed, Butterfly Milkweed, Pleurisy Root
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Asclepias tuberosa – Asklepios was the Greek god of healing.
The Indians chewed the root as a cure for pleurisy and other pulmonary ailments.
FLOWER COLOR: Orange
BLOOMING PERIOD: July to August
SIZE: 1-3 feet tall
BEHAVIOR: Long-lived perennial that remains dormant late into spring.
SITE REQUIREMENTS: Grows best on well-drained, sandy or gravely soils. Flowers
best in full sun, but tolerates some shade if there is no other plant competition.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Very showy with it bright orange flower clusters, 2-5 inches
across at the top of the flowering stem set against the backdrop of it dark green
leaves. Superb plant for attracting butterflies. Parachute-like seeds are typical of
milkweed plants and germinate easily, but take several years to reach blooming size.
SUGGESTED CARE: Use in a dry site, as it will not survive long in heavier, moist sites
with competition from taller species. Easily propagated from root cuttings.
NATURAL RANGE: Minnesota and Wisconsin eastward to New England. South to
Florida and Texas; west to Colorado and Nebraska. Common in dry prairie
remnants in southern and western Wisconsin.
COMPANION PLANTS: Little bluestem, flowering spurge, blazingstar, wild lupine,
rattlesnake master, and spiderwort.