If ever a plant deserved to be hailed as plant of the year, it is the Butterfly Milkweed. You may know of it as butterfly weed, milkweed, or Asclepias tuberose. If you get out of the city during June and July then you've seen this little plant flowering in neighborhood gardens, commercial landscapes trying to go natural, welcome centers, arboretums and even along the roadsides where it grows wild.
One of the more recognizable weeds, this flowering beauty is host to many butterflies including the Monarch Butterfly. Bees, hummingbirds and other wild fliers can't pass up on these orange cluster flowers on the Butterfly Milkweed.
Hardy pretty much throughout the US, from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, this weed or perennial is a standard in home gardens to attract flying wildlife during the early to mid-summer months.
Even those new to landscaping and gardening know the powers of Milkweed. The Monarch Butterfly has made this plant famous, as it is one of the few plants that it uses as a host, eating the leaves and drinking the nectar from the flower cluster.
This is the year to add several of these small growing summer charmers to your sunny garden areas. Butterfly weed plants are adaptable to most sunny environments with well-drained soil. Plus they are drought tolerant.