Native Plant of the Week

Photo credit: R.W.Smith
Photo credit: R.W.Smith
Photo Credit: Julie Makin

 You are welcome to visit the

Native Plant of the Week

at 4020 Dunston Avenue.

The featured plant will be in the front yard and will be marked.  


Common Name: Butterfly Weed, Butterfly Milkweed, Pleurisy Root

Scientific Name: Asclepias tuberosa

General Description: Clump-forming perennial that reaches about 2 feet in height.  Butterfly weed produces strikingly beautiful orange flower clusters across the top of the plant.

Habitat: Butterfly weed grows best in full sun and can withstand both dry and periodic wet conditions.  It thrives where many plants fail.

Additional information: All native members of the milkweed family provide outstanding wildlife value.  Butterfly weed flowers attract pollinators; the foliage is consumed by several kinds of caterpillars including monarchs; and seed pods can become covered by beautiful large milkweed bugs (black with orange markings) which liquefy the seeds and suck out the nutrients.  Each seed is attached to cottony fibers that allow for wind dispersal of the seeds much like dandelions.  Butterfly weed was used for many medicinal purposes by Native Americans as well as by European settlers.  The common name of “pleurisy root” refers to the use of butterfly weed to treat lung ailments.

” If half the American lawns were replaced with naitve plants, we could create the equivalent of a 20 million acre national park – nine times bigger than Yellowstone, or 100 times bigger than the Shenandoah National Park.”   Doug Tallamy

Read more here


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