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Butterflyweed is a native perennial that occurs in open woods and fields throughout the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. It is found in Florida throughout the state except for the extreme southern tip of the peninsula. It prefers well drained sandy soil with full sun, but can tolerate some partial shade. Other common names for this plant include: Butterfly Milkweed, Orange Milkweed and Pleurisy Root. This plant belongs to the Dogbane family (Apocynaceae) and the Milkweed subfamily (Asclepiadoideae).
This plant grows to an average height of 2 feet or more. The rough hairy stem can be erect or sprawling. The stem can branch near the top and each branch is topped by a flat cluster of small orange flowers. The clusters can be 2-
The small orange or reddish-
After the flowers fade away, seed pods are formed. They are grayish green in color, averaging 4-
The flowers provide a nectar source for many insects, such as bees and butterflies. The plant also serves a larval food source for the Gray Hairstreak, Monarch and Queen butterflies.
The photos on this page were taken in Deep Creek in Charlotte County. Additional information on this plant may be found by clicking on the following links: