Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wildflower Wednesday - Butterfly Weed

Alsclepias Tuberosa is the most amazing butterfly weed I can imagine. It is supposed to grow and bloom in full sun. Here in my mostly shaded back garden I am pleased to say that I have a small stand of it blooming its little head off.
I have seen mostly bumble bees nectaring on it. They have obviously done their job because on one plant there are seeds absolutely about to burst open.
When it does it will look like this one with the delicate angel hair.
I will allow these to be planted any place in my garden they care to alight. The next big storm should do a fine job of planting these seeds.

This plant also hosts nymphs of bugs other than butterflies. I don't know what these are but they do appear robust as they suck on this seedpod.
For more Wildflower Wednesday chat go to Gail's at Clay and Limestone.
P.S. Gail, I am sorry I am so late.

24 comments:

Cheryl said...

Hi Lisa......butterfly weed is beautiful. I have treated myself to three plants. The honey bees seem to like them.

I love the seedheads, almost better than the blooms.

I am hoping it will like my garden and stay a while.......

Lovely post.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Gail, I had just decided the same thing. Where ever the seeds fall, they can grow. Last year we ran out of summer before the plants produced seed pods. This year they seem to be ahead but nothing like yours. Mine are still blooming with no sign of going to seed.
Marnie

Phillip said...

That is a great plant and so beautiful. It is amazing that it thrives on neglect and less than ideal conditions.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Don't know what those bugs are. I hope they're good ones. Aren't the seeds fun to play with?

Meredehuit ♥ said...

I love Butterfly weed. But I can't seem to find any for sale. I'll have try try again next season.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Aren't those seedheads so much fun when they burst?! So by your post, do you have a lack of butterflies on your butterfly weed, too? Mine is in part sun (and there are butterflies around that area of the garden) but I'll be darned if I ever see one on the butterfly weed. :(

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Kim, I don't see butterflies on the alsclepias very often. I figure they prefer the sun and these don't get much sun. Only some afternoon sun. They also don't grow very tall. I figure that if they were in the full sun they would get about twice as tall.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

MrMcD, those seeds are something else. They feel so soft. At least the angel hair on them is soft. No wonder they used to stuff mattresses and pillows with it.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

I just love butterfly weed. The orange is just so sunny and cheerful. The seedpods are a bonus--and so dramatic. I am like you--it is welcome anywhere in my garden it wants to plant itself.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Love asclepias of all sorts. Mostly I have rosy milkweed (A. incarnata) and the wild A. syriaca because I've weeded butterfly weed out by accident many times, thinking it WAS a weed...sigh.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I love this plant, too, and it does well for me in part-shade as well. I like to collect the seed heads and put them in a metal container and then throw a match in. The fluff burns really ht and quickly, leaving you with the seeds. But I've also been a bit of a pyro.

Jayne said...

I may have to look into planting some of this hearty "weed." :c) Pretty!!

Laurrie said...

Mine is blooming in shade too... which I thought would be a problem, but it does well. I love the clear orange. Your butterfly weed looks great!

beckie said...

Lisa, I have butterfly weed in several spots in the gardens from sunny to shade and they all are doing well. The ones from last year have bloomed and formed seed pods like yours and some of them have the 'bugs' on them. The ones I started indoors are just now blooming and add so much to the gardens. Did I tell you I have a yellow one? I marked it so I can share the seed in the seed swap.

We got almost an inch of rain this evening and it has cooled off some!!

Yousei Hime said...

Beautiful photos and interesting words. Thank you for sharing both. My garden has been neglected this summer. Perhaps with a lot of elbow (and knee and back) work it can be salvaged. Enjoyed the visit.

Layanee said...

I added another Asclepius to the garden given your high praise. It is an annual but very pretty. Love this one and the shot of the nymphs is like looking into a baby nursery window.

Commonweeder said...

I planted a single butterfly weed this spring, but it is not blooming yet. Maybe today's rain will help.

Rose said...

Both my butterfly weeds are doing so well this year, too, Lisa. I just love them, and best of all, I keep seeing a Monarch or two flying about them, which I hope means even more Monarchs in the future. Your seedpods are so interesting; I haven't seen any on mine yet, so I'll take a closer look.

SandyCarlson said...

A gorgeous weed. So much so that I want to be a weed when I grow up!

Gail said...

LOL~No problem Lisa~I love celebrating wildflowers all the time! Butterfly Weed is one of my favorites~My goal is to let it grow where ever it want to grow and I've added some of its cousins~The bugs are Milkweed Bug~gail

Christine B. said...

You just don't see Asclepias up here, I don't know why. They are so attractive to the critters that I'll have to put it on the "to buy" list for next year.

It's been raining for so long, the butterflies and moths aren't much to be seen. I wonder if they just starve to death after weeks of rain?

Christine in Alaska

Marvin said...

I love butterfly weed. We don't have any cultivated, but keep note of several locations where it's growing wild. In full sun, it is truly a butterfly magnet.

I don't recognize your bugs, but would say they are probably an early instar of some True Bug (Heteroptera), which means they're probably going to grow up into something that sucks plant juices.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I just took some pictures today of the milkweed bugs. I had never seen so many on one pod before, funny to check in with you tonight and see as many on yours.

yoon see said...

If only I see one of these.
There is always joy and adventures to walk into the green.

Ha..Ha..I hope to start a collection if I were stumble on a butterfly weed!