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Tried and True Native Plant Selections
for the Mid-Atlantic
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Asclepias tuberosa ([Common] Butterfly-weed)
Butterfly-weed is one of the showiest native* wildflowers. Summer waves of orange blossoms brighten open fields, woods, and waysides. Later, spindle-shaped fruit (follicles) pierce the air in shades of green, yellow, brown. When follicles split open, the seeds’ silky threads glisten in the sun. The Virginia Native Plant Society selected Butterfly-weed as Wildflower of the Year in 1992.
*It is common from central PA through VA
Video © Mary Free
This video shows European honey bees carrying pollinia of Asclepias tuberosa on their legs and tarsi. In the first slow motion clip, the honey bee’s tarsus–with pollinia attached–seems to have slipped into a stigmatic slit. Did it make a delivery or a pick up? To learn more about pollinia, read The Perils of Pollinia and More about Milkweed. Learn more about Pollinators.
Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants:
Tried and True Native Plant Fact Sheets