Not That weed. This weed. Butterfly Weed. Asclepias tuberosa.
You would think it would be an easy plant to grow, right? I mean,after all it IS a weed. But, you would be wrong. It has taken me three years to get this large of a plant. I read “it may take as long as two years to establish from seed”. Great, now they tell me.
I also found out that transplanting butterfly weed can be difficult because it has a taproot. That must be why it’s a weed. Ever try to pull up a dandelion? It has a long taproot also.
The first year the Butterfly Weed erupted, there were only green leaves and then nothing. It disappeared in the fall and winter only to reappear in the Spring. Now we’re getting somewhere I thought. Nope. More green leaves but not.one.single.solitary. bloom. Oh well. Maybe it’s in a spot with too much shade. They do like full sun. But this year, it really took off and FINALLY, blooms!!!!
It is a beautiful plant and well worth the wait. However, it is also a wonderful plant because it is a butterfly magnet. Hence, the name. But you had probably already figured that one out. The plant produces an abundance of nectar which attracts the butterflies AND the plant is an excellent host for the caterpillars.
I can’t think of any other weed I would rather grow. No, really.