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Butterfly Weed

Category:

A wonderful selection that is perfect for attracting butterflies to gardens; bright golden orange clusters of fragrant flowers rise above narrow, green foliage during the summer months and into early fall; easy to grow, drought tolerant once established

Characteristics

Species:
tuberosa
Average Landscape Height:
24 inches (32 inches with the flowers)
Average Landscape Width:
24 inches
Genus:
Asclepias
Branching:
herbaceous
Plant Form:
upright spreading
Canopy:
leggy
Growth Rate:
medium
Pruning:
spring cleanup
Flower Color:
orange
Flower Bicolor:
gold
Flower Fragrance:
high
Flower Period:
from mid to late summer
Summer Foliage Color:
green
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Light:
full sun
Maximum Moisture:
moist
Minimum Moisture:
dry

Ornamental Features

Butterfly Weed has fragrant orange flat-top flowers with gold overtones at the ends of the stems from mid to late summer. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its narrow leaves remain green in color throughout the season.

Landscape Attributes

Butterfly Weed is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

Planting & Growing

Butterfly Weed will grow to be about 24 inches tall at maturity extending to 32 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 inches. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 1 foot from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!

This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided. This species is native to parts of North America.

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