Asclepias tuberosa

Asclepias are milkweeds named for their latex, a milky substance exuded wherever the plant breaks. Though most species are toxic to humans and other species, pollinators like bees, wasps, true bugs, moths, and butterflies love them. Interestingly, while Monarch butterfly larvae use asclepias as a food source, they are considered a poor pollinator of it – bees are the best pollinators of this plant.  Much like orchids, many milkweed species have some of the most complex flowers in the plant kingdom! Though not often grown commercially, milkweeds have a long history of medicinal, every day and military use. With the intensified interest in creating butterfly gardens, many gardeners rush to find seeds or mature plants. One such species, Orange Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) blooms at its peak from mid-to-late summer, is drought resistant, low maintenance and will keep blooming as long as you deadhead it. Even when seed pods are left on the plant, it will still provide unique garden interest.