Plants for Butterflies and Other Pollinators

Showing 29–32 of 225 results

  • Asclepias curassavica Bloodflower or scarlet milkweed Z 9-11 Annual in colder areas

    Small scarlet red and orange umbels all summer and early fall

    $4.95/pot

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    Asclepias curassavica grows upright and tall with spiraling lance-shaped leaves.  Blooming all summer and early fall. Showy flowers, in small scarlet red and orange umbels.

    Size: 24-30” x 12-24”
    Care: sun to part shade in moist well-drained soil
    Native: South America
    Wildlife Value: Attracts Monarch butterflies

    In gardens since 1750’s.    

  • Asclepias incarnata Swamp milkweed Z 3-9

    pink umbels, like an upside down ballerina’s skirt

    $10.95/bareroot

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    Asclepias incarnata Swamp milkweed     Z 3-9
    Fragrant medium pink umbels, like an upside down ballerina’s skirt, July – September.

    Size: 3’-4’ x 2-3’
    Care: Sun in moist to moist well-drained soil, deer resistant
    Native: North America – all states (except along the Pacific coast) & eastern half of Canada, Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: host for Monarch caterpillars, flowers are source of nectar for several butterflies

    Named after Asclepias, a Greek god of medicine. Native American groups used Swamp milkweed – Chippewa to increase their strength & the stems made into twine; Iroquois to heal navels in babies, to increase or decrease urine and to make a person strong enough to punish witches; Meskwaki to drive out tapeworms; and Menominee used it as an ingredient in food – added to deer soup & cornmeal mush. Listed as growing in England in Miller’s Gardeners’ Dictionary, 1768. Pressed specimen in Emily Dickinson’s herbarium.

  • Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly weed, Pleurisy-root Z 4-9

    striking orange cymes in July-August

    $8.25/pot

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    Striking orange cymes in July-August on this American native.

    Size: 2-3' x 12"
    Care: Sun in moist well-drained to dry soil, Drought tolerant & deer resistant
    Native: East and south North America, Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: host for Monarch & Gray hairstreak butterfly caterpillars.

    Omaha Indian’s Shell Society took 4 days to dig, prepare and distribute the root to cure bronchial and pulmonary ailments. Most important medicine for the Menomonie. Iroquois smashed the root on runner’s legs to give them strength. Butterfly weed cured flu and remedied coyote bites for the Iroquios. 1st collected for gardens by Rev. John Banister in colonial Virginia in 1678 He died when he bent over to collect a plant and a gunman mistakenly shot him. Jefferson grew this at Monticello.

  • Asclepias verticillata Whorled milkweed Z 4-10 POISON

    Fragrant flat-topped clusters of many small white flowers atop single stem surrounded by narrow, grass-like leaves. Blooms July through October. 

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    Fragrant flat-topped clusters of many small white flowers atop single stem surrounded by narrow, grass-like leaves. Blooms July through October. 

    Size: 12-30” x 12-24” spreading
    Care: sun to part shade in moist well-drained to well-drained soil
    Native: all US, Wisconsin native
    Wildlife Value: deer & rabbit resistant. Bees & butterflies eat nectar. Host for Monarch caterpillars.
    Size: root used to induce sweating for Choctaw, Chickasaw and Creek natives

    Collected by 1753. Grown at America’s 1st botanic garden, Elgin Botanic Garden 1811.