Asclepias tuberosa color variants (Butterfly Weed) [20 Seeds]

$3.95

Germination Information: I recommend these seeds for experienced seed-starters only, because they may require some patience. The easiest approach is to sow the seeds (barely covered with growing medium) in fall to late winter, setting them outdoors in a spot protected from mice so they can get a chilling period and then germinate when conditions are right in spring.

If you sow after February, set the pot in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for about a month before moving it to a warm, bright place for germination. (Remove the bag if the pot will be exposed to any direct sun.)

It is possible that these seeds could germinate if you sow them in warm, moist, bright conditions. But if you try that and no seedlings appear within 3 weeks or so, then try the refrigerator-chilling approach above before moving them back to warmth and light.

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Description

Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a type of milkweed that normally produces clusters of vibrant orange flowers in summer atop 1- to 2-foot-tall stems. These color variants—some light orange and some clear yellow—have appeared on their own in my meadow over the last several years. I can’t promise the exact colors these seeds will produce, but I think it is likely that some of the seedlings, at least, will bloom in the lighter colors, and they could be an interesting addition to (or substitute for) the usual bright orange.

Like regular A. tuberosa and common milkweed (A. syriaca), this U.S. native serves as a food source for monarch butterfly larvae, which feed on the leaves. The flowers also attract a variety of adult butterflies, as well as other pollinators. Butterfly weed grows in distinct clumps; no worries about it spreading like some other milkweeds can. Full sun. Perennial; Zones 3 to 9.

Collected in October 2020. Provenance is Bucks County, PA (seeds are from wild plants growing in my meadow). At least 20 seeds.

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