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MILKWEED, BUTTERFLY
Asclepias tuberosa

Butterfly milkweed flower.

Butterfly milkweed seedling at cotyledon stage.

Butterfly milkweed pods.



  • The plant got its common name because of its attractiveness to a wide variety of butterflies such as monarchs, swallowtails, sulphurs, coppers, hairstreaks and fritillaries.

  • Another common name given this plant is 'pleurisy root', because the root has medicinal uses as an emetic and diuretic and was used to treat pleurisy.

  • Native Americans found many uses for butterfly milkweed. The plant's fibers were used in textiles and bowstrings, a red dye could be extracted for basket and textile decoration, and they had many medicinal uses for the roots.