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« the witch & the bumblebee | Main | a passion vine, a begonia and the amaryllis »

October 07, 2008


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What a great plant that has multiple interest in the garden. First the buds are so lovely with their red pin stripes, the vibrant orange blossoms & then the interesting seed heads that follow. The benefit of attracting butterflies & hummingbirds is icing on the cake!

Shady Gardener

I've never collected the seeds, but I think you should. I know the plant itself can be "touchy" about growing in new surroundings. I think Butterfly Weed is short for Butterfly Milkweed... a relative of the common milkweed you find in ditches. These are the host food (food source) of the caterpillars that turn into Monarchs. It makes them taste bad, so birds avoid them... at least, especially if they've tried it once! ha. :-) I love this plant!


Kathleen, i finally got this to start in my garden this year. After buying 2 separate times last year and having them both die, I planted seed indoor this spring and got several to grow. I grew them in those little peat pots and planted the whole thing in the ground. Only one bloomed this year and that one attracted caterpillars. The others are growing still and I am hopling for more blooms next year. I would do some of each-collect a few seed, and let the rest reseed itself. Hopefully next year the Monarchs will find yours.


Since monarchs are getting threatened due to loss of milkweed, I collect my asclepias pods, drive down the semi-rural roads, and toss it out the window. Maybe one or two will grow and help a dozen or two monarch cats!


I love this plant! It is so very interesting and the flowers just look exotic and tropical. While at Blithewold in RI...I saw a member of this family from Africa I think but with very similar flowers...almost waxy looking! It's been in my garden for years but I have never seen a Monarch Butterfly visit it.



beautiful - I love the photo with the sun behind the leaves...gorgeous!


It is definitely a great plant Racquel. I'm so glad it's finally established enough to be making a presence in my garden.


I've seen posts on other blogs about their asclepias having Monarch caterpillars Shady Gardener. I hope that will happen in my garden someday too. We have lots of the common milkweed around the local ponds and lakes in this area. Maybe they prefer those to mine?!! I love this perennial too.


Wow, I'm jealous Beckie. That's great the caterpillars found yours so fast. Mine didn't bloom much the first or second year either. This year was great tho. I'll hope the Monarchs find it next year too.


Great idea Benjamin! I think I'll actually take you up on that one. I live off some of those semi rural roads so it will be easy for me to do and better than composting. Thanks for the comment.


That's a great description Gail ~ waxy ~ they do look waxy. Now I'm not sure whether to feel better or worse since the butterflies are not visiting it in your garden. I saw Painted Ladies on mine this year but not Monarchs. Of course, I didn't see nearly as many butterflies as normal either. :-(


Thank you Alice!! Do you have this in your garden?

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