Asclepias tuberosa 

Butterfly weed

Names and Myths

Asclepias from Asclepius the mythical son of Apollo the first great Greek healer.

tuberosa tuberous

Natural history / Folklore

Poisonous if eaten. Attracts monarchs, swallowtails, painted ladies, cabbage & sulfur butterflies fritillaries hairstreaks and other butterflies.1 Does not have milky sap.23 The stalk can be worked to yield fibers that have been found in Indian mounds dating from 700 BC. Indians also made great medicinal use of this plant, everything from treating of rheumatism, inducing vomiting, and helping a new mother produce milk.6 The dried root was boiled in water, this was taken internally promoting perspiration and expulsion of mucus.38


June – August Orange flowers, alternate leaved, stem grows at an angle. A milkless milkweed with watery sap.9

Roadsides and Fields

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