Asclepias tuberosa
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Asclepias tuberosa

butterfly weed
pleurisy root

  family apocynaceae 
  genus asclepias 

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Genus  Asclepias Species  tuberosa Variety  Cultivar  Common names  butterfly weed   pleurisy root Family  APOCYNACEAE Specimen number  S11138 Data source  HtZn p81;HumGrdn p51;MedPl p171;Xeri p282
Life cycle
Life form  Terrestrial Life cycle  Perennial Life span  3 - 10 years Annual cycle  Not applicable Stature  Flower Growth form  Not applicable Growth habit  Stoloniferous Overall height  1' - 3' Overall spread   
Sunshine  Various Water  Dry Optimal soil texture  Sandy Acceptable soil pH  Neutral USDA hardiness  USDA zones 03a-10b AHS heat zones  Heat zones 10-02 Sunset climate zones  Not classified
Suitable for gardens  yes Nursery  Unknown Compost  no Size at acquisition  Unknown Garden location  Unknown Garden notes  Asclepias tuberosa attracts hummingbirds. A good use for this plant is in dried arrangements. Pleurisy root (also known as butterfly weed) can survive very cold winters with annual averages as low as -40� Fahrenheit. This plant needs summer days with high heat. This species does well in sandy soils. It likes dry soils.
Special qualities
Tolerates drought  no Tolerates high humidity  no Tolerates seaside conditions  no Insect resistant  no Disease resistant  no Deer resistant  no Best uses  Dried arrangements Symbiosis  Attracts butterflies  no Attracts hummingbirds  yes Autumn foliage  no Colorful berries  no Desirable qualities    Other interest  crescent shaped pods bursting with silky Other interest color  Other interest period   
Adverse factors
Common pests  Poisonous parts  Leaves   Stems Poisonous indications  Internal poison  no Dermatologic poison  no Livestock poison  no Mechanical injury  no Hay fever pollen    Hay fever season    Adverse qualities   
Herbal medicine
Medicinal properties  expectorant   anti-inflammatory   febrifuge   diaphoretic   antidiarrheal Medicinal parts  Root Has medicinal uses  yes Do not self-administer  no Do no use if pregnant  no Legally restricted  no Toxicity precautions  Medicinal notes  Asclepias tuberosa has traditionally been used in many herbal remedies including: as an expectorant, as an anti-inflammatory, as a febrifuge and as a diaphoretic. (More are listed in the medicinal properties section.) Only the root is used in herbal preparations. The leaves of this plant as well as the stems are toxic.
Traditional uses
Parts used  Traditional uses  Contemporary uses  Fragrance  fragrant flowers Fragrance parts  Flowers Fragrance intensity    Fragrance category    Dye parts  Dye color 
Propagule  Various Pollination method    Planting style    Crop spacing    Row spacing    Cold frame  Planting period    Harvesting period    Frost tolerance    Heat requirement    Fertilizer  Typical Time to harvest 
Is edible  no Culinary uses  Nutritional value  Edible parts  Description of edible parts Flavor / texture 
Horticulture notes  Asclepias tuberosa may have originated from Central and Eastern US.
Tag needs printing  no Collection notes  Asclepias tuberosa is a perennial. Flowers: Pleurisy root (locally known in some parts as butterfly weed) has showy vibrant broad flower clusters. The blossoms are typically of an orange color.

Page 501 of 4998

Last reviewed November 01, 2004   


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