Asclepias tuberosa is a species of milkweed native to eastern North America. It is a perennial plant growing to 0.3–1 metre (10 in–3 ft 3 in) tall, with clustered orange or yellow flowers from early summer to early fall. The leaves are spirally arranged, lanceolate, 5–12 cm long, and 2–3 cm broad.
This plant favors dry, sand or gravel soil, but has also been reported on stream margins. It requires full sun.
It is commonly known as Butterfly Weed because of the butterflies that are attracted to the plant by its color and its copious production of nectar. It is also the larval food plant of the Queen and Monarch butterflies. Hummingbirds, bees and other insects are also attracted.
Extracts were used by Native Americans as an expectorant for wet coughs and other pulmonary ailments. Use of the herb is contraindicated in pregnancy, during lactation or with infants due to the small amount of cardiac glycosides.
The plant looks similar to the Lanceolate Milkweed (Asclepias lanceolata), but is uniquely identified by the larger number of flowers, and the hairy stems that are not milky when broken. It is most commonly found in fields with dry soil.
Most easily propagated by seed. Sewn outdoors after frost, a plant will flower and produce seed in the third year. Difficult to transplant once established. Loewer, Peter 'Native Perennials For the Southeast' Cool Springs Press. Nashville, Tenn. 2005 ISBN 1-59186-121-7  
- Asclepias tuberosa interior (Central United States)
- Asclepias tuberosa rolfsii – Rolfs Milkweed (Southeastern United States)
- Asclepias tuberosa tuberosa (Eastern United States)
Common names include Butterfly Weed, Canada Root, Chieger Flower, Chiggerflower, Fluxroot, Indian Paintbrush, Indian Posy, Orange Milkweed, Orange root, Orange Swallow-wort, Pleurisy Root, Silky Swallow-wort, Tuber Root, Yellow Milkweed, White-root, Windroot, Butterfly Love, Butterflyweed, and Butterfly Milkweed.
- "The Plant list: A Working List of All plant Species".
- Nina Cummings, ed. (2011). "Native Landscaping Takes Root in Chicago". In The Field (The Field Museum): 13.
- University of Texas, Austin
- personal gardening experience (mid-Atlantic, zone 7)
- Druse, Ken 'Making More Plants The Science, Art, and Joy of Propagation' Abrams. New York, NY. 2012 ISBN 0-517-70787-X
- "USDA GRIN Taxonomy".
- anonymous (2008). "Featured Native Plant: Butterfly Weed". Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes 6 (4).
- Dickinson, T.; Metsger, D.; Bull, J.; & Dickinson, R. (2004) ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario. Toronto:Royal Ontario Museum, p. 138.
- Peterson, Roger Tory; Margaret McKenny (1968). A Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North-central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 0-395-18325-1.
- Photo of a J.J. Audubon Plate Clay-Colored Sparrow perched atop Asclepias tuberosa
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