Butterfly weed produces bright orange, flat-topped flower clusters in early June. Flowering goes on for many weeks. Green pods full of seeds with silky white hairs follow the flowers. This is an essential plant if you want to attract a variety of butterflies to your property, especially Monarchs.
Host and nectar plant for Monarch butterflies
Great nectar source for many other butterflies
Seedpods are often used in dried flower arrangements
Thrives in sun in average or dry soil
Prefers moist, rocky soils, but will grow in dry situations too
Sandy soils and upland woods; New Hampshire to South Dakota south to Arizona, Mexico and Florida.
Map Credit: The Biota of North America Map Key: Green (native), Teal (native, adventive), Blue (present), Yellow (present & rare), Red (extinct)
Milkweeds are the host plant for Monarch butterflies. The entire lifecycle of these butterflies, from caterpillars to adults, revolves around this plant.
Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. Plants have deep taproots and are best left undisturbed once established. Like many milkweeds, plants are slow to emerge from the ground in spring.