Compact, leafy structure of Asclepias tuberosa 'Gay Butterflies' (Butterfly Milkweed)

Asclepias tuberosa 'Gay Butterflies' (Butterfly Milkweed)

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'Gay Butterflies' is an attractive ornamental cultivar of Asclepias tuberosa, also called butterfly milkweed. Butterfly milkweed is a durable, perennial wildflower, widely known for its role as a vital source of food for the larvae of monarch and queen butterflies. While Asclepias tuberosa is typically known for its bright orange flowers, the 'Gay Butterflies' cultivar produces blooms in a variety of bright, fiery colors including red, orange, and yellow. Set apart from the straight species by its vibrant colors and slightly larger profile, 'gay Butterflies' is tolerant of drier conditions and grows two to three feet tall and two feet wide.

Adaptable and resilient, butterfly milkweed grows best in direct sunlight and well-drained soil, yet can tolerate harsh, dry conditions. With value to not only butterflies but also hummingbirds and bees, Asclepias tuberosa makes for a great addition to pollinator gardens, but with its drought tolerance, also works well in meadows and rock gardens. The plant produces a milky, toxic sap, and toxicity to pets (dogs, cats and horses) should be noted when choosing a location for planting, though this sap also makes the plant tolerant to deer and rabbit browsing.

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