Asclepias

Milkweed, Butterfly Weed

A big-time butterfly attraction, particularly for the Monarch at larval stage, this American-born perennial promises an irresistible, long lasting summertime display in a well-drained mixed border or more informal venue. The Butterfly Weed’s showy flowers look exceptional in cut arrangements, either fresh or dried, while its slender seed pods lend decorative accents.

This easily grown floriferous cultivar hosts large, compact rosy pink umbels packed with petite white flowers set in dark red bracts. Sprouting from a sizable taproot, the late-to-emerge noninvasive clump of numerous, erect branching stems celebrates vibrant-looking, vanilla-scented blooms. Selected from the wild species that inhabits Missouri’s swamps and wet meadows, ‘Cinderella’ thrives surprisingly well in drier sites and can escort Baptisia ‘Solar Flare’ or ornamental grasses like Molinia or Panicum.

Blooms July–August.

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

A floriferous white-blooming selection of Missouri’s native Swamp Milkweed, ‘Ice Ballet’s straight sturdy stems lift tight-knit, delicately fragrant pearlescent umbels and silky haired seeds. Lance-shaped, slender deep green leaves cloak the attractive compact habit, which can be added to butterfly gardens, sunny borders or stream sides, where it lures hummingbirds as well as butterflies, especially Gray Hairstreaks and Queens. This easy-care cultivar tolerates clay, deer and wet soil.

Blooms July–August

Size: 3' 0" – 4' 0" high x 18" – 2' 0" wide.

Hardy to zone 3.

<i>Asclepias tuberosa</i>

One of the most garden-worthy of all the Milkweeds, this brilliant orange flowered butterfly and hummingbird attraction can be found roaming many eastern and southern North American roadsides, prairies, glades and fields. Tuberous roots, narrow lance-shaped green leaves and clumping, upright hairy stems support the showy flattened dense umbels and unique, silky tailed slender seed pods, which can be added to cut arrangements. A recent recipient of the 2017 PPA as well as a rugged, yet long blooming contender for borders, massed plantings or stylized meadows, Butterflyweed can handle deer, drought, erosion and shallow rocky soil, but detests poorly drained sites.

Blooms July–September

Size: 2' 0" – 3' 0" high x 15" wide.

Hardy to zone 4.

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Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Current Staff's Favorite Plant

Helianthus 'Sheila's Sunshine', Persicaria 'Summer Dance', and Selinum wallichianum

Helianthus ‘Sheila’s Sunshine - P-0461

The sunflower was once an emblem of the Sun God of the Incas. Our sunflowers tolerate a wide range of garden soils, attract bees, and make great cut flowers. Blooms early August – October.

Persicaria ‘Summer Dance’ - P-1312

With foliage that’s close to lime-green, and spiky floral tails that approach the scarlet spectrum of rosy pink, this slow spreading perennial is sure to please. Happiest in semishade with ample moisture. Blooms August–November.

Selinum wallichianum - P-1406

This refined Himalayan beauty happens to be one of our favorite perennial umbellifers. With untold elegance, infinitely divided leaves craft a delicate, lacelike transparency. The compact yet airy green canopy is framed by distinctive, purple-infused branching stems that elevate a charming, late season display of white flattened umbels.

Subduing the riotous array of summertime blooms, it seldom needs staking, and appreciates a well draining moist niche. Blooms June–August.

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