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Butterfly Weed
Asclepias tuberosa

a.k.a. Butterfly Milkweed

One of the best natives for dry, sunny areas, butterfly milkweed is a host plant for the larva of the monarch butterfly and provides nectar and pollen for butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects. Bright orange flowers sit on top of a compact plant of 2' by 2' at maturity.

USDA symbol: ASTU

General Information

Plant TypeForb
Height2 feet
Light ExposureSun, Part Sun
Soil MoistureDry
Bloom ColorOrange
Butterfly Weed (Butterfly Weed<div><em class="small">Asclepias tuberosa</em></div>)
Photo credit: Ecoscapes (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceLow
General Resilience6
Salt ToleranceMedium
Stress ToleranceDrought Tolerant, Fire Tolerant, General Disturbance

Pollinator Value: Very High

Bloom MonthsJune to August
Larval Host ofButterflies, Moths
Specific Pollinators HostedDanaus gilippus, Danaus plexippus, Euchaetes egle
Pollinator BenefitInsect Pollinated, Provides Nectar, Stem Nesting, Supports Generalists

Project Planning

Project TypeBoulevard, Rain Garden, Restoration, Sandy or Engineered Soils, Shoreline Buffer, Upland Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism6
Herbivore SensitivityLow
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionClonal


CountyAitkin, Anoka, Benton, Blue Earth, Brown, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Crow Wing, Dakota, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Hennepin, Houston, Isanti, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Le Sueur, Martin, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Pine, Ramsey, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Scott, Sherburne, St. Louis, Stearns, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Winona, Wright
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands