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Butterfly Milkweed, Butterfly Weed

Asclepias tuberosa L.

Apocynaceae (Dogbane Family) (formerly in Asclepiadaceae, the Milkweed Family)

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Asclepias tuberosa L., Butterfly Milkweed: (Bayer Code:  ASCTU; US Code ASTU)

·         Native, long-lived, simple perennial that forms large, tuberous root with age

·         Produces multiple stems that are unbranched or only branched once flowering commences

·         Leaves are lanceolate, alternate or opposite or somewhat whorled

·         Flowers are small, bright orange, red-orange or sometimes yellowish in large terminal clusters, or smaller axillary clusters; some plants will bloom almost all summer long

·         Fruit is a slender, upright pod; seeds are attached to windblown

The “weediness” of milkweeds has been revisited due to them being the main food for monarch butterfly larvae; therefore, milkweeds no longer are being generally considered as weeds to eradicate, and actually have legal protection in some areas


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Posted 19 January 2019