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Perennial Flower Information

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Asclepias - Butterfly Weed, Pleurisy Root, Milkweed

The common Milkweeds are members of this genus of plants. Asclepias tuberosa, the Butterfly Weed, is one of the showiest and most beautiful of our native plants. The beautiful, flat-topped clusters of bright orange-red flowers are followed by long, curious pods containing numerous white, feathery seeds. In the wild state the flowers bloom in August, but the flowering season is prolonged if the plants are given good cultivation. In some sections the Butterfly Weed has been largely used as a substitute for Geraniums because of some of the intense orange and scarlet shades of the flowers. However, it grows a little taller, from 1 1/2 feet to 2 1/2 feet.

UTILIZE. The Butterfly Weed is nice for sunny spots in the rockery or border. When found wild they are blooming when many of the surrounding, plants are dried up.

GENERAL. These plants are long lived and capable of taking care of themselves without any attention. They freeze out in heavy soil and should have sandy, well drained soil in full sunlight. The Asclepias is a deep rooting plant and dislikes removal very much. One should be careful that it has completed its growth and every root should be saved, if the plants are to be transplanted from one place to another. Transplanting is usually considered difficult, but many persons have reported success if the hole is filled with sand.

PROPAGATION. Raising them from seeds is the most certain method of propagation. Sow only a few seeds in a pot of rather firm soil, and allow the young plants, which grow slowly, to remain in these pots for at least a year before setting them out.

 

 



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