Butterfly Weed – Why Would I Put A Weed In My Garden?
March 25, 2012
There are many plants that, in my opinion, are over looked in the plant trade; plants that would make wonderful additions to the garden that are extremely difficult to find. There has been more than one occasion when I wanted to use a specific plant in a design but simply couldn’t source it.
Asclepias is one of those plants. I don’t think it helps that it’s common name is Butterfly Weed. Who would willingly put something in their garden with the word weed in the name. But this is a great plant and there are a few species that make good additions to the garden.
At the top and to the right is A. tuberosa with its bright blooms that practically shout at you when they flower in spring. The blooms are most often orange but I have seen bright red and yellow as well. I am also a big fan of the foliage which I find has a very symmetrical look that compliments the blooms. It is native to Texas as well as many other North American areas.
A. verticilatta (shown to the left) with its creamy white and pink flowers blooms almost all summer and is native to much of North America including Texas, Mexico and Florida.
A. incarnata‘s flowers (shown below) are a pretty rose-pink and, occasionally, off white color. As a bonus they give off a vanilla scent and attract butterflies. Not quite as drought tolerant as A. tuberosa and A. veticilatta it still does pretty well in a dry environment.
Now, I ask you, what could be sweeter than sitting in your garden with the scent of vanilla wafting through the air watching the Monarchs flit around your Butterfly Weed?
All three of these plants like full sun and are heat and drought tolerant making them perfect for areas like Austin and Central Texas. They also need little maintenance, another plus for every gardener.