Asclepias tuberosa (Butterflyweed)

This showy plant is a species of milkweed native to eastern North America. It is frequently grown from seed in home gardens and rewards the gardener with brilliant orange flowers that have a long bloom period from late spring through the summer. The flowers attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, and other insects and provide a good nectar source. The leaves are a food source for monarch butterfly larvae (caterpillars). Because the tough root of this plant was chewed by the Indians as a cure for pleurisy and other pulmonary ailments, Butterflyweed was given its other common name, Pleurisy Root. While it is sometimes called Orange Milkweed, this species has no milky sap. Flowers give way to prominent, spindle-shaped pods (3-6” long) which split open when ripe releasing numerous silky-tailed seeds for dispersal by the wind. The seed pods are valued in dried flower arrangements.