Asclepias tuberosa

Asclepias tuberosa L.

Common Names: Butterfly Weed

Family: Apocynaceae

Habit: Asclepias tuberosa grows as a perennial herb up to 1 m in height.  The leaves are oppositely arranged in a spiral fashion to 15 cm long and to 3 cm wide, oblong to oblanceolate, with an entire margin and acute/acuminate leaf apex. The stems and leaves have a milky sap.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are arranged in terminal umbels. The calyx has 5 unfused, reflexed sepals. The corolla has 5 reflexed, unfused, red to yellow petals. There are 5 unfused stamens. Within the flower there are curved, upright, orange appendages (crown) each with a lobed projection that arise from the corolla. The superior ovary has 2 locules with many ovules.  The fruit is a swollen elongate follicle up to 15 cm long at maturity. The seeds have elongate pubescence

Habitat: Asclepias tuberosa grows in Human Altered environments (yards and old fields especially those that remain wet).

Distribution: Asclepias tuberosa is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago but does occur throughout the islands. It is native to eastern and southwestern United States but is wide spread as an ornamental.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Asclepias tuberosa is not known to be used medicinally in the Bahamas.

It is used as an ornamental in yards and will attract monarch butterflies.