Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)


Butterfly weed has striking bright orange blooms unique from the other Milkweed species. The blooms attract a variety of pollinators and are a favorite in many types of gardens. It is one of many native milkweed species that monarch butterfly larvae use as a source of food. The milkweed contains a toxic compound makes the butterfly unpalatable to predators  throughout its lifecycle once consumed. Milkweeds like this species also have medicinal applications and have been used in salves and infusions for various applications for generations by peoples throughout our bioregion. However, they should be prepared with caution due to the plant’s inherent toxicity. We highly recommend checking out the fascinating chapter on milkweeds in Samual Thayer’s foraging book series.

Plants are currently provided in recycled plastic pots donated to our nursery by community members (size varies, especially at the farmstand!) or in soil blocks. Please read more about soil block here.

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.


Why are We Planting This?

Ecological Gifts
Pollinator favorite and a host plant for the monarch butterfly.

Edible Gifts
Most parts of the plant are edible (and delicious!) when properly prepared. The stalk can be used as an asparagus substitute, young shoots and seed pods can also be eaten. The flowers can be cooked into a syrup. See more below.

Medicinal Gifts
The plant has a rich medicinal history as well. See more below.

Other Gifts
The soft fluff in the seedpods has buoyant properties and was actually used to stuff life jackets during WWII. It can also be used to stuff other materials like pillows or can be spun into yarn with other fibers or used as candle wicks. Twine can also be made with fibers from the bark. See more below.

Read more about the ethnobotany of this milkweed and its history of medicinal uses at the fully-referenced Plants for a Future and the Native American Ethnobotany Database.

Additional information

Special Features

Host Plants, Medicinal, Pollinator Favorites




Average, Dry



Bloom Color


Bloom Time

July, June

Native Plant Category


Type of Plant

Native to Michigan