Butterfly Milkweed

Buttterfly Milkweed
Butterfly Milkweed
 David Welfelt

Butterfly Milkweed
Asclepias tuberosa

 

Family Milkweed
Longevity Perennial
Height 1 - 2 feet

Bloom Period

March April May June July August September October
  • Description: Coarsely-hairy stems are upright and stout. Leaves are alternate and lance-shaped with coarse hairs. Yellow, orange or red-orange flowers are individually hour-glass shaped and clustered in showy heads.
  • Comments: Butterfly Milkweed has become a popular ornamental plant. Butterflies of all kinds perch on the flowers to sip nectar. The milkweed flower is highly specialized and unique. A vertical slit in the flower allows an insect’s foot to slip inside. When the insect pulls its foot loose, it dislodges a saddlebag-like structure with two pollen sacs attached. The pollen, still attached to the insect’s leg, is carried to the next plant and deposited when one of the pollen sacs slips inside the flower crevice. Butterfly Milkweed is found on prairies in the eastern two-thirds of Kansas.


Buttterfly Milkweed
 David Welfelt

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Text: Iralee Barnard
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