1) Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)
Butterflies love the nectar and Monarch caterpillars love the foliage of the Common Milkweed. This is one of the most common Milkweeds and is native to the eastern part of North America. This Milkweed produces soft whitish purple cluster of flowers. This perennial plant can reach up to six feet tall. It loves well drained sandy/loamy soils and full sun to partial shade. It usually blooms from June to August. It works great with several specimens planted together in a butterfly garden.
2) Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)
(aka: Orange Butterfly Weed, Orange Butterfly Weed)
Butterfly Milkweed is perfectly named; it is a brilliant orange butterfly magnet. It’s a native to eastern North America and is easy to grow. It prefers well drained soils and full sun. It blooms beautiful cluster of flowers in the summer months and each fall the seeds are dispersed through the air as the large teardrop shaped seed pods burst. This plant is a must-have in every butterfly garden. Encourage new growth by deadheading flowers. A must-have for all!
3) Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
This Milkweed is a native to Eastern North America and can reach up to four feet tall. It has slim leaves that reach up to six inches and attractive looking clusters of pinkish purple flowers. There is a lovely white variety that is called ‘Ice Ballet.’ These beauties got the name Swamp Milkweed because they can handle more moisture in their environment than the other Milkweeds. If you have an area in your garden that holds a little extra water, Swamp Milkweed is a plant that peeks curiosity and invites ‘garden’ conversation.
4) Blood Flower (Asclepias curassavica)
(aka: Tropical Milkweed)
One look at this plant’s vivid red blooms and you will understand why Blood Flower is a suitable name for this tropical species of milkweed. The small flowers grow from a woody base and can reach approximately three feet high. In most regions in North America, it is considered to be an annual because it is a tropical species. The Monarchs love to munch on the Blood Flower as caterpillars and many other butterflies enjoy the sweet nectar. Blood Flowers need full sun and will be a striking addition to any garden.