“Biological diversity is the key to the maintenance of the world as we know it.”
~ E.O. Wilson, Biodiversity
Very hairy stem; long, narrow, hairy leaves; leaf margin lacking teeth; sap not milky like other milkweeds
To 3 feet tall
May to September
Flowers are displayed in terminal umbels. Many shades of orange to brick red, occasionally yellow. Long seedpods are as much as 4 1/2-inches long with tightly packed seeds in spirals and silky floss.
Found throughout Missouri in upland habitats. Butterfly milkweed is occasionally used in seeding mixes. Easy to establish from seed, but may take several years to bloom. This deep-rooted perennial withstands overgrazing and is an excellent nectar source for insects, while the leaves are a food source for the monarch caterpillar. Seed collection is often difficult because pods split open and disperse most of the seed in one day.