Butterfly Milkweed

Asclepias tuberosa

Butterfly Milkweed, Orange Butterfly Weed, Pleurisy Root

About This Plant

Mostly sun; benefits from light afternoon shade. A deciduous perennial growing to a mound 1-3 feet in height. The showy, orange-hooded flowers appear during summer. As its name suggests, it attracts monarch butterflies. However, it’s used more as a nectar plant than a larval host — since it doesn’t contain milky sap, it doesn’t offer protection for monarchs’ caterpillars. Butterfly weed can be long-lived in well-drained sandy loam – i.e., in amended garden beds. It doesn’t appreciate heavy clay soils. Aphids tend to congregate on milkweed plants in the garden, but they provide food for ladybugs!

Origins: Eastern US and Canada, west to Colorado and central Texas


Aphids can be cleaned off by cutting back the stems or blasting the plant with soapy water.

A showy, perennial native milkweed.

Min. Height: 2'

Max Height: 3 feet'

Min. Width: 1'

Max Width: 1.5 feet'

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