Asclepias tuberosa

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Asclepias tuberosa
Asclepias tuberosa 2015-07-01 3812.JPG

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Asclepias
Species:
A. tuberosa
Binomial name
Asclepias tuberosa
Synonyms[1]
  • Acerates decumbens Decne.
  • Asclepias decumbens L.
  • Asclepias elliptica Raf.
  • Asclepias lutea Raf. nom. illeg.
  • Asclepias revoluta Raf.
  • Asclepias rolfsii Britton ex Vail

Asclepias tuberosa, the butterfly weed, is a species of milkweed native to eastern and southwestern North America.[2] 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.[3]

Description[edit]

It is a perennial plant growing to 0.3–1 m (1–3+12 ft) tall. The leaves are spirally arranged, lanceolate, 3–12 cm (1+144+34 in) long,[4] and 2–3 cm (341+14 in) broad.

From April to September, in the upper axils, 7.5 cm (3 in)–wide umbels of orange, yellow or red flowers 1.5 cm (12 in) wide appear. They each have five petals and five sepals.[4] It is uncertain if reddish flowers are due to soil mineral content, ecotype genetic differentiation, or both. A cultivar named 'Hello Yellow' typically has more yellowish flowers than ordinary examples of this plant.

The fruit pod is 7.5–15 cm (3–6 in) long, containing many long-haired seeds.[4]

Similar species[edit]

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.

Taxonomy[edit]

Subspecies[edit]

  • Asclepias tuberosa subsp. interior – (Central United States, Ontario and Quebec[5])
  • Asclepias tuberosa subsp. rolfsii – Rolfs milkweed (Southeastern United States)
  • Asclepias tuberosa subsp. tuberosa – (Eastern United States)

Common names[edit]

Common names include butterfly weed,[6] Canada root, chieger flower,[6] chiggerflower, fluxroot, Indian paintbrush, Indian posy, orange milkweed, orange root,[7] orange Swallow-wort, pleurisy root,[6] silky swallow-wort, tuber root, yellow milkweed, white-root, windroot, butterfly love, butterflyweed, and butterfly milkweed.[8]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The species can be found from South Dakota south to Texas and Mexico, west to Utah and Arizona, as well as some other areas further east.[4]

This plant favors dry, sand or gravel soil, but has also been reported on stream margins. It requires full sun.

Ecology[edit]

Most easily propagated by seed. The primary pollinators are bees and wasps, rather than butterflies.[9] Sown outdoors after frost, a plant will flower and produce seed in the third year. It is difficult to transplant once established, as it has a deep, woody taproot.[10][11]

A. tuberosa is a larval food plant of the queen and monarch butterflies, as well as the dogbane tiger moth, milkweed tussock moth, and the unexpected cycnia.[3][12] Because of its rough leaves, it is not a preferred host plant of the monarch butterfly but caterpillars can be reared on it successfully.[13][14] Further, it is one of the very lowest Asclepias species in cardenolide content, making it a poor source of protection from bird predation and parasite virulence and perhaps contributing to its lack of attractiveness to egg-laying monarchs.[15]

Cultivation[edit]

To protect seeds from washing away during heavy rains and from seed–eating birds, one can cover the seeds with a light fabric or with an 0.5 in (13 mm) layer of straw mulch.[16] However, mulch acts as an insulator. Thicker layers of mulch can prevent seeds from germinating if they prevent soil temperatures from rising enough when winter ends. Further, few seedlings can push through a thick layer of mulch.[17]

In cultivation in the greenhouse, plants can easily be grown from seed to flowering in as little as three to six months. The seeds often need periods of cold treatment (cold stratification) before they will germinate.[18]

Toxicity[edit]

The plant contains toxic glycosides, alkaloids and resinoids. These can cause weakness, seizures and corneal injuries.[19] Use of the plant is contraindicated in pregnancy, during lactation or with infants due to its toxins, which include resinoids and pregnanes.[20]

Because monarch butterflies do not favor it when reproducing, it is not as suitable for use in butterfly gardens and monarch waysides as are other milkweed species.[14][15]

Uses[edit]

Native Americans and European pioneers used the boiled roots to treat diarrhea and respiratory illnesses.[21] The young seed pods were used as food after being boiled in several changes of water.[21] The seed pod down was spun and used to make candle wicks.[21]

The root was once used to treat pleurisy.[4]

Gallery[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "Asclepias tuberosa". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – via The Plant List.
  2. ^ (1) "Query Page". BONAP’s Taxonomic Data Center (TDC): The Biota of North America Program: North American Vascular Flora.
    (2) Stevens, Michelle. "Plant guide for Butterfly Milkweed: Asclepias tuberosa L." (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture: Natural Resources Conservation Service: National Plant Data Center. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 9, 2021. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
    (3) Stritch, Larry. "Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa L.)". Plant of the Week. United States Department of Agriculture: United States Forest Service. Archived from the original on March 27, 2021. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  3. ^ a b (1) Stevens, Michelle. "Plant guide for Butterfly Milkweed: Asclepias tuberosa L." (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture: Natural Resources Conservation Service: National Plant Data Center. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 9, 2021. Retrieved July 5, 2021. Milkweed species are attractive to many insect species, including the large milkweed bug, common milkweed bug, red milkweed beetle, blue milkweed beetle, and bees.
    (2) Mader, Eric; Shepherd, Mathew; Vaughan, Mace; Black, Scott Hoffman; LeBuhn, Gretchen (2011). Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies: The Xerces Society guide. North Adams, Massachusetts: Storey Publishing. p. 291. ISBN 9781603427470. LCCN 2010043054. OCLC 776997073. Retrieved July 7, 2021 – via Internet Archive.
  4. ^ a b c d e Spellenberg, Richard (2001) [1979]. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers: Western Region (rev ed.). Knopf. pp. 349–350. ISBN 978-0-375-40233-3.
  5. ^ Species profile on VASCAN. Retrieved on February 21, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Asclepias tuberosa". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  7. ^ anonymous (2008). "Featured Native Plant: Butterfly Weed" (PDF). Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes. 6 (4). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 14, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
  8. ^ Dickinson, T.; Metsger, D.; Bull, J.; & Dickinson, R. (2004) ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario. Toronto:Royal Ontario Museum, p. 138.
  9. ^ Fishbein, M., and D.L. Venable. 1996. Diversity and change in the effective pollinators of Asclepias tuberosa. Ecology 77:1061-1073.
  10. ^ Loewer, Peter 'Native Perennials For the Southeast' Cool Springs Press. Nashville, Tenn. 2005 ISBN 1-59186-121-7
  11. ^ Druse, Ken 'Making More Plants The Science, Art, and Joy of Propagation' Abrams. New York, NY. 2012 ISBN 0-517-70787-X
  12. ^ Schillo, Rebecca (2011). Cummings, Nina (ed.). "Native Landscaping Takes Root in Chicago". In the Field. The Field Museum: 13.
  13. ^ Pocius, Victoria M.; Debinski, Diane M.; Pleasants, John M.; Bidne, Keith G.; Hellmich, Richard L. (January 8, 2018). "Monarch butterflies do not place all of their eggs in one basket: oviposition on nine Midwestern milkweed species". Ecosphere. Ecological Society of America (ESA). 9 (1): 1–13. doi:10.1002/ecs2.2064. Retrieved July 6, 2021 – via Wiley Online Library. In our study, the least preferred milkweed species A. tuberosa (no choice; Fig. 2) and A. verticillata (choice; Fig. 3A) both have low cardenolide levels recorded in the literature (Roeske et al. 1976, Agrawal et al. 2009, 2015, Rasmann and Agrawal 2011)
  14. ^ a b Gomez, Tony. "Asclepias Tuberosa: Butterfly Weed for Monarchs and More". Monarch Butterfly Garden. Archived from the original on August 16, 2017. Retrieved September 11, 2020. Rough leaves for monarch caterpillars, not typically a heavily used host plant.
  15. ^ a b (1) "Milkweeds (mostly Asclepias spp.)". Alonso Abugattas Shares Native Plant Picks for Wildlife. Mid-Atlantic Gardener. 2016. Archived from the original on March 13, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2020. And if you have hot, dry conditions in your yard, try Butterflyweed (A. tuberosa). .... It’s the least favored by Monarch caterpillars because it has very little toxin (cardiac glycosides) in its leaves.
    (2) Abugattas, Alonzo (January 3, 2017). "Monarch Way Stations". Capital Naturalist. Archived from the original on June 5, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2017 – via Blogger. (A. tuberosa) is the least favored by monarch caterpillars .... because it has very little toxin (cardiac glycosides) in its leaves, .....
    (3) "Butterfly Weed: Asclepias tuberosa" (PDF). Becker County, Minnesota: Becker Soil and Water Conservation District. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 11, 2020. Retrieved September 11, 2020. Unlike other milkweeds, this plant has a clear sap, and the level of toxic cardiac glycosides is consistently low (although other toxic compounds may be present)..
    (4) Mikkelsen, Lauge Hjorth; Hamoudi, Hassan; Altuntas Gül, Cigdem; Heegaard, Steffen (2017). "Corneal Toxicity Following Exposure to Asclepias tuberosa". The Open Ophthalmology Journal. Bentham Science Publishers. 11: 1–4. doi:10.2174/1874364101711010001. PMC 5362972. PMID 28400886. The latex of A. tuberosa seems to be different from other members of the Asclepias family due to the fact that even though cardenolides are normally considered present in Asclepias species, these cardenolides have not been found in A. tuberosa. Instead some unique pregnane glycosides are found in A. tuberosa.
    (5) Warashina, Tsutomu; Noro, Tadataka (February 2010). "8,12;8,20-Diepoxy-8,14-secopregnane Glycosides from the Aerial Parts of Asclepias tuberosa". Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. Pharmaceutical Society of Japan. 58 (2): 172–179. doi:10.1248/cpb.58.172. PMID 20118575. Retrieved September 11, 2020. Though cardenolides are considered to be characteristic constituents of Asclepias spp. together with pregnane glycosides, we could find no cardenolides in the more hydrophobic fraction of the methanol extract of the aerial parts of A. tuberosa, the same as previously.
    (6) Pocius, Victoria M.; Debinski, Diane M.; Pleasants, John M.; Bidne, Keith G.; Hellmich, Richard L. (January 8, 2018). "Monarch butterflies do not place all of their eggs in one basket: oviposition on nine Midwestern milkweed species". Ecosphere. Ecological Society of America (ESA). 9 (1): 1–13. doi:10.1002/ecs2.2064. Retrieved July 6, 2021 – via Wiley Online Library. In our study, the least preferred milkweed species A. tuberosa (no choice; Fig. 2) and A. verticillata (choice; Fig. 3A) both have low cardenolide levels recorded in the literature (Roeske et al. 1976, Agrawal et al. 2009, 2015, Rasmann and Agrawal 2011)
  16. ^ (1) Mader, Eric; Shepherd, Mathew; Vaughan, Mace; Black, Scott Hoffman; LeBuhn, Gretchen (2011). Estabishing Pollinator Habitat from Seed: Sowing Seed. Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies: The Xerces Society guide. North Adams, Massachusetts: Storey Publishing. pp. 113–114. ISBN 9781603427470. LCCN 2010043054. OCLC 776997073. Retrieved July 7, 2021 – via Internet Archive.
    (2) Landis, Thomas D.; Dumroese, R. Kasten (2015). "Propagating Native Milkweeds for Restoring Monarch Butterfly Habitat: Propagating Native Milkweeds: Seed Propagation" (PDF). International Plant Propagators' Society, Combined Proceedings (2014). 64: 302. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved July 11, 2021 – via United States Department of Agriculture: United States Forest Service. Any of the standard seed propagation methods (Landis et al., 1999) are effective with milkweed. Direct sowing of non-stratified seeds during the fall followed by exposure to ambient winter conditions can be effective, but the seeds must be mulched and protected. Cover sown seeds with a thin mulch; research has found that common milkweed seeds germinated better when planted 1 to 2 cm (0.4 to 0.8 in.) deep than when at the soil surface (Jeffery and Robison, 1971).
  17. ^ Bush-Brown, James; Bush-Brown, Louise (1958). "Chapter 32: Mulches". America's garden book. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 768. LCCN 58005738. OCLC 597041748 – via Internet Archive.
  18. ^ (1) Borders, Brianna; Lee–Mäder, Eric (2014). "Milkweed Propagation and Seed Production: Stratification" (PDF). Milkweeds: A Conservation Practitioner's Guide: Plant Ecology, Seed Production Methods, and Habitat Restoration Opportunities. Portland, Oregon: The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. pp. 28–29. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 4, 2021. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
    (2) Landis, Thomas D.; Dumroese, R. Kasten (2015). "Propagating Native Milkweeds for Restoring Monarch Butterfly Habitat" (PDF). International Plant Propagators' Society, Combined Proceedings (2014). 64: 302. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved July 11, 2021 – via United States Department of Agriculture: United States Forest Service. Many sources of milkweed seeds require stratification (cold, moist treatment) before sowing. .... Butterfly milkweed (A. tuberosa) germination increased from 29 to 48 to 62% as stratification duration increased from 0 to 30 to 60 days, respectively (Bir, 1986).
    (3) Higgins, Adrian (May 27, 2015). "7 milkweed varieties and where to find them". Home & Garden. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on September 26, 2020. Retrieved October 17, 2020. Seed may be stubborn to germinate and may need a period of cold treatment..
  19. ^ (1) Elias, Thomas S.; Dykeman, Peter A. (2009) [1982]. Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods. New York: Sterling. pp. 267–68. ISBN 978-1-4027-6715-9. OCLC 244766414.
    (2) Mikkelsen, Lauge Hjorth; Hamoudi, Hassan; Altuntas Gül, Cigdem; Heegaard, Steffen (2017). "Corneal Toxicity Following Exposure to Asclepias tuberosa". The Open Ophthalmology Journal. Bentham Science Publishers. 11: 1–4. doi:10.2174/1874364101711010001. PMC 5362972. PMID 28400886. The latex of A. tuberosa seems to be different from other members of the Asclepias family due to the fact that even though cardenolides are normally considered present in Asclepias species, these cardenolides have not been found in A. tuberosa. Instead some unique pregnane glycosides are found in A. tuberosa.
    (3) Stevens, Michelle. "Plant guide for Butterfly Milkweed: Asclepias tuberosa L." (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture: Natural Resources Conservation Service: National Plant Data Center. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 9, 2021. Retrieved July 5, 2021. Milkweed species, as a group, are known to contain cardiac glycosides that are poisonous both to humans and to livestock, as well as other substances that may account for their medicinal effect. Resinoids, glycosides, and a small amount of alkaloids are present in all parts of the plant. Symptoms of poisoning by the cardiac glycosides include dullness, weakness, bloating, inability to stand or walk, high body temperature, rapid and weak pulse, difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, spasms, and coma.
  20. ^ (1) "Asclepias tuberosa". Native Plant Database. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas at Austin. "Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: Roots, plant sap from all parts. Not edible. Toxic only if eaten in large quantities. Symptoms include vomiting, stupor, weakness, spasms. Toxic Principle: Resinoid, cardiac glycoside" "Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - the University of Texas at Austin". Archived from the original on February 5, 2020. Retrieved October 17, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link).
    (2) Mikkelsen, Lauge Hjorth; Hamoudi, Hassan; Altuntas Gül, Cigdem; Heegaard, Steffen (2017). "Corneal Toxicity Following Exposure to Asclepias tuberosa". The Open Ophthalmology Journal. Bentham Science Publishers. 11: 1–4. doi:10.2174/1874364101711010001. PMC 5362972. PMID 28400886. The latex of A. tuberosa seems to be different from other members of the Asclepias family due to the fact that even though cardenolides are normally considered present in Asclepias species, these cardenolides have not been found in A. tuberosa. Instead some unique pregnane glycosides are found in A. tuberosa.
    (3) Warashina, Tsutomu; Noro, Tadataka (February 2010). "8,12;8,20-Diepoxy-8,14-secopregnane Glycosides from the Aerial Parts of Asclepias tuberosa". Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. Pharmaceutical Society of Japan. 58 (2): 172–179. doi:10.1248/cpb.58.172. PMID 20118575. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
  21. ^ a b c "Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)". tpwd.texas.gov. Retrieved March 6, 2019.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]