Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
Like its relative, Asclepias incarnata, this plant is essential to attracting Monarch butterflies to the landscape but, unlike incarnata, it likes a much drier spot and, since its profile is lower, a spot closer to the front of the garden. This drought tolerant American Beauties gem also flowers differently with umbels of small orange flowers that emerge in mid-July and continue into August. Like its relative, Butterfly Weed is a caterpillar food source for Monarchs and a nectar source for adult Monarchs and other butterflies and their mere presence in the landscape guarantees landscape color other than flowers. Even the birds love this plant for its seed fluff that provides nesting material!