Milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae)
Updated 23 February 2024
$6.00 – $18.00
This plant needs little introduction. It’s one of the most popular of the milkweeds amongst gardeners, both for its bright, colorful flowers that attract butterflies and bees, and as a food source for Monarch Butterfly caterpillars. It performs best with lots of sun and well-drained soils, but has always done well for us in our clay loams. It has an extensive native range, including most of eastern North America and the arid southwest. In New York it occurs in about half the counties but seems to prefer a more calcareous soil and is much more common in the Hudson Valley – it’s absent from the Catskills. Herbalists call the plant “Pleurisy Root” in reference to a prior medicinal use of the plant roots to treat lung inflammations.