Bloodflower

1 Mar

Bloodflower (Asclepias curassavica), 1 to 3 ft., evergreen or short lived perennial, orange and yellow flowers, attracts butterflies, reseeds, loves sun, drought tolerant.

Bloodflower is a member of the Milkweeds family (so named for their milky sap), and are the best-known representatives of this group of plants in the garden. Blooms in summer, typically bearing many small, starlike flowers in broad, flattened clusters at branch tips. All have inflated seedpods with silky seeds. Just a few species are cultivated in gardens.

Milkweed plants (Asclepias) are the host plants for Monarch butterflies…but milkweed is also a highly sought nectar source for many other butterfly species! Aside from attracting Monarch butterflies for egg-laying, milkweed entices swallowtails, painted ladies, American ladies, red admirals, fritillaries, and hairstreaks for nectaring.
Milkweed also draws hummingbirds and hummingbird clearwing moths to the garden for nectar.

Asclepias tuberosa

This bushy, 1 1/2-2 ft. perennial is prized for its large, flat-topped clusters of bright-orange flowers. The leaves are mostly alternate, 1 1/2–2 1/4 inches long, pointed, and smooth on the edge. The yellow-orange to bright orange flower clusters, 2–5 inches across, are at the top of the flowering stem. The abundance of stiff, lance-shaped foliage provides a dark-green backdrop for the showy flower heads.

This showy plant is frequently grown from seed in home gardens. Its brilliant flowers attract butterflies. Because its tough root was chewed by the Indians as a cure for pleurisy and other pulmonary ailments, Butterfly Weed was given its other common name, Pleurisy Root. Although it is sometimes called Orange Milkweed, this species has no milky sap.

Asclepias currassavica 

Zones 8, 9, 12–24; H1, H2; all zones as annual. Native to South America. Woody-based plant with stiff stems and narrow 6-in. leaves; grows 3 ft. tall, 2 ft. wide. Clusters of vivid red flowers.

‘Red Butterflies’

Flowers are bright orange-scarlet. Golden and pink cultivars also available.

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