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Asclepias tuberosa

  • Common Name
    Butterfly Plant
  • CA Native
    Non-native
  • Plant Type
    Perennial
  • Size
    1.5' - 2.5' x 1.2'
  • Flower Color
    Orange, Yellow/Orange, Yellow
  • Bloom Time
    • Fall
    • Spring
    • Spring through Fall
  • Leaves
    Small Green
  • Evergreen
    Deciduous
  • Deer Resistant
    Seldom Damaged
  • Wildlife Value
    • Attracts Beneficial Insects
    • Butterfly & Other Insect Nectar
    • Butterfly Larval Host Plant
  • Growth Rate
    Moderate
  • Hardiness
    Hardy
  • Adverse Growth Factors
    None
  • Special Features
    • Low Maintenance
    • Showy Flowers
  • Water Use
    • Low
  • Soil pH
    N / A
  • Exposure
    • Full Sun
  • Soil Type
    Not Particular
  • Drainage
    Well Drained
  • Description and Cultural Plant Tips

    Asclepias has large clusters of bright orange to yellow flowers that stand out above the foliage. Seed pods are valued for dried flower arrangements. Unlike other milkweeds, it does not have a milky sap. Does well in a mid-border setting. Looks great with Tithonia, Gentian Sage, Salvia greggii, and Lantana.

    Plant slightly above soil grade in well-drained soil because plant is susceptible to crown rot. May be an evergreen in areas of Marin that don't get heavy frost. In which case, cut back by half in early spring.

    Must have for a butterfly garden. Is a host plant for Monarch larva.  Also attracts adult Monarchs and other butterflies.

    Aphids can be a problem. Wash off with water or plant in a windy area where aphids do not tend to congregate. Beneficial insects like this plant because of the aphid problem so don't use insecticides.

  • Master Gardener Comments

    This is a butterfly magnet. Looks great in just about any garden setting. Aphids can be a problem but worth the extra housekeeping work.

  • Varietals
    N / A