Friday, July 07, 2006

Butterfly Weed
Asclepias tuberosa

This North American native is difficult to grow unless you have the right conditions. Even then it can take a long time to get established. It likes a well-drained gravel type of soil. It seems to do well in dry fields. The color is outstanding and it produces copious amounts of nectar that attracts butterflies. Transplanting is difficult because of the taproot. It is better grown from seed or pots. The flowers and seed pods are edible and have some medicinal qualities. Unlike most plants in the Milkweed family, it does not have white sap. Watch out in the spring when you are working in the garden as this plant starts growing quite late. I found it is best not to disturb it. If you're up to a challenge and have a dry, not too fertile area, try the Butterfly Weed.

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