Butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)
With a name like butterfly milkweed (also known as butterfly weed), you may be tempted to skip it and move on to nicer-sounding options. But do not be fooled – butterfly milkweed is actually a gem in the rough. It is a host plant for monarch butterflies, and it belongs in every sunny garden in North Texas. Its bright orange blooms are attractive and hard to overlook. It is very drought tolerant due to a long taproot, and nothing seems to bother it as long as it is in the right spot.
Although it is an aphid magnet, they never seem to do any permanent damage. Many bugs seem attracted to it, including milkweed bugs, but the butterfly milkweed always seems to win. It is a must-have in a butterfly garden and does very will in meadows, prairies, sunny borders, or naturalized areas.
AT A GLANCE
|Sun exposure||Full sun to part sun|
|Bloom time||Spring, summer|
|Mature height||1-2.5 ft|
|Mature spread||1-2 ft|
|Host plant||Grey Hairstreak, Monarch, Queen|
|Poisonous||Roots, sap. Toxic only if eaten in large quantities.|
|Notes||Bumble, honey and native bee friendly. Attracts beneficial insects.|