Asclepias tuberosa

Asclepias tuberosa, the butterfly weed, is a species of milkweed native to eastern and southwestern[2] North America. It is commonly known as butterfly weed because of the butterflies that are attracted to the plant by its color and its copious production of nectar. It is also a larval food plant of the queen and monarch butterflies, as well as the dogbane tiger moth, milkweed tussock moth, and the unexpected cycnia[3] Hummingbirds, bees and other insects are also attracted.[4]

Asclepias tuberosa
Asclepias tuberosa interior.jpg

Secure (NatureServe)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Asclepias
Species:
A. tuberosa
Binomial name
Asclepias tuberosa
Synonyms[1]
  • Acerates decumbens Decne.
  • Asclepias decumbens L.
  • Asclepias elliptica Raf.
  • Asclepias lutea Raf. nom. illeg.
  • Asclepias revoluta Raf.
  • Asclepias rolfsii Britton ex Vail

Because of its rough leaves, Asclepias tuberosa is not a preferred host plant of the monarch butterfly but caterpillars can be reared on it successfully.[5] Further, it is one of the very lowest Asclepias species in cardenolide content, making it a poor source of protection from bird predation and parasite virulence and perhaps contributing to its lack of attractiveness to egg-laying monarchs.[6]

DescriptionEdit

It is a perennial plant growing to 0.3–1 metre (1 ft 0 in–3 ft 3 in) tall, with clustered orange or yellow flowers from early summer to early autumn. The leaves are spirally arranged, lanceolate, 5–12 cm (2" to 5") long, and 2–3 cm (about 1") broad.

Some wild plants have been reported to have orange flowers that are very reddish. It is uncertain if this is due to soil mineral content, ecotype genetic differentiation, or both. A cultivar, "Hello Yellow", typically has more yellowish flowers than ordinary examples of this plant.

Distribution and habitatEdit

This plant favors dry, sand or gravel soil, but has also been reported on stream margins. It requires full sun.

IdentificationEdit

The plant looks similar to the lanceolate milkweed (Asclepias lanceolata), but is uniquely identified by the larger number of flowers, and the hairy stems that are not milky when broken. It is most commonly found in fields with dry soil.

PropagationEdit

Most easily propagated by seed. The primary pollinators are bees and wasps, rather than butterflies.[7] Sown outdoors after frost, a plant will flower and produce seed in the third year. It is difficult to transplant once established, as it has a deep, woody taproot.[8][9]

In cultivation in the greenhouse, plants can easily be grown from seed to flowering in as little as three to six months.

SubspeciesEdit

  • Asclepias tuberosa subsp. interior – (Central United States, Ontario and Quebec[10])
  • Asclepias tuberosa subsp. rolfsii – Rolfs milkweed (Southeastern United States)
  • Asclepias tuberosa subsp. tuberosa – (Eastern United States)

Common namesEdit

Common names include butterfly weed,[11] Canada root, chieger flower,[11] chiggerflower, fluxroot, Indian paintbrush, Indian posy, orange milkweed, orange root,[12] orange Swallow-wort, pleurisy root,[11] silky swallow-wort, tuber root, yellow milkweed, white-root, windroot, butterfly love, butterflyweed, and butterfly milkweed.[13]

Toxicity and usesEdit

The plant contains toxic glycosides, alkaloids and resinoids which can cause weakness or seizures.[14]

Native Americans and European pioneers used the boiled roots to treat diarrhea and respiratory illnesses.[15] The young seed pods were used as food after being boiled in several changes of water.[15] The seed pod down was spun and used to make candle wicks.[15]

Use of the plant is contraindicated in pregnancy, during lactation or with infants due to its toxins, which include resinoids and pregnanes.[16] Because monarch butterflies do not favor it when reproducing, it is not as suitable for use in butterfly gardens and monarch waysides as are other milkweed species.[5][6]

GalleryEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ "Asclepias tuberosa". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – via The Plant List.
  2. ^ http://bonap.net/TDC/
  3. ^ (1) The Xerces Society (2016), Gardening for Butterflies: How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful, Beneficial Insects, Timber Press.
    (2) Stevens, Michelle. "Plant Guide: Butterfly Milkweed: Asclepias tuberosa L." (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture: Natural Resources Conservation Service: National Plant Data Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 29, 2017. Retrieved September 11, 2020..
  4. ^ Schillo, Rebecca (2011). Cummings, Nina (ed.). "Native Landscaping Takes Root in Chicago". In the Field. The Field Museum: 13.
  5. ^ a b Gomez, Tony. "Asclepias Tuberosa: Butterfly Weed for Monarchs and More". Monarch Butterfly Garden. Archived from the original on August 16, 2017. Retrieved September 11, 2020. Rough leaves for monarch caterpillars, not typically a heavily used host plant.
  6. ^ a b (1) "Milkweeds (mostly Asclepias spp.)". Alonso Abugattas Shares Native Plant Picks for Wildlife. Mid-Atlantic Gardener. 2016. Archived from the original on March 13, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2020. And if you have hot, dry conditions in your yard, try Butterflyweed (A. tuberosa). .... It’s the least favored by Monarch caterpillars because it has very little toxin (cardiac glycosides) in its leaves.
    (2) Abugattas, Alonzo (January 3, 2017). "Monarch Way Stations". Capital Naturalist. Archived from the original on June 5, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2017 – via Blogger. (A. tuberosa) is the least favored by monarch caterpillars .... because it has very little toxin (cardiac glycosides) in its leaves, .....
    (3) "Butterfly Weed: Asclepias tuberosa" (PDF). Becker County, Minnesota: Becker Soil and Water Conservation District. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 11, 2020. Retrieved September 11, 2020. Unlike other milkweeds, this plant has a clear sap, and the level of toxic cardiac glycosides is consistently low (although other toxic compounds may be present)..
    (4) Mikkelsen, Lauge Hjorth; Hamoudi, Hassan; Altuntas Gül, Cigdem; Heegaard, Steffen (2017). "Corneal Toxicity Following Exposure to Asclepias tuberosa" (PDF). The Open Ophthalmology Journal. Bentham Science Publishers. 11: 1–4. doi:10.2174/1874364101711010001. PMC 5362972. PMID 28400886. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 11, 2020. Retrieved October 17, 2020. The latex of A. tuberosa seems to be different from other members of the Asclepias family due to the fact that even though cardenolides are normally considered present in Asclepias species, these cardenolides have not been found in A. tuberosa. Instead some unique pregnane glycosides are found in A. tuberosa.
    (5) Warashina, Tsutomu; Noro, Tadataka (February 2010). "8,12;8,20-Diepoxy-8,14-secopregnane Glycosides from the Aerial Parts of Asclepias tuberosa". Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. Pharmaceutical Society of Japan. 58 (2): 172–179. doi:10.1248/cpb.58.172. PMID 20118575. Retrieved September 11, 2020. Though cardenolides are considered to be characteristic constituents of Asclepias spp. together with pregnane glycosides, we could find no cardenolides in the more hydrophobic fraction of the methanol extract of the aerial parts of A. tuberosa, the same as previously.
  7. ^ Fishbein, M., and D.L. Venable. 1996. Diversity and change in the effective pollinators of Asclepias tuberosa. Ecology 77:1061-1073.
  8. ^ Loewer, Peter 'Native Perennials For the Southeast' Cool Springs Press. Nashville, Tenn. 2005 ISBN 1-59186-121-7
  9. ^ Druse, Ken 'Making More Plants The Science, Art, and Joy of Propagation' Abrams. New York, NY. 2012 ISBN 0-517-70787-X
  10. ^ Species profile on VASCAN. Retrieved on February 21, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c "Asclepias tuberosa". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  12. ^ anonymous (2008). "Featured Native Plant: Butterfly Weed" (PDF). Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes. 6 (4). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 14, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
  13. ^ Dickinson, T.; Metsger, D.; Bull, J.; & Dickinson, R. (2004) ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario. Toronto:Royal Ontario Museum, p. 138.
  14. ^ Elias, Thomas S.; Dykeman, Peter A. (2009) [1982]. Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods. New York: Sterling. pp. 267–68. ISBN 978-1-4027-6715-9. OCLC 244766414.
  15. ^ a b c "Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)". tpwd.texas.gov. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  16. ^ (1) "Asclepias tuberosa". Native Plant Database. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, University of Texas at Austin. "Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: Roots, plant sap from all parts. Not edible. Toxic only if eaten in large quantities. Symptoms include vomiting, stupor, weakness, spasms. Toxic Principle: Resinoid, cardiac glycoside" "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 5, 2020. Retrieved October 17, 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link).
    (2) Mikkelsen, Lauge Hjorth; Hamoudi, Hassan; Altuntas Gül, Cigdem; Heegaard, Steffen (2017). "Corneal Toxicity Following Exposure to Asclepias tuberosa" (PDF). The Open Ophthalmology Journal. Bentham Science Publishers. 11: 1–4. doi:10.2174/1874364101711010001. PMC 5362972. PMID 28400886. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 11, 2020. Retrieved October 17, 2020. The latex of A. tuberosa seems to be different from other members of the Asclepias family due to the fact that even though cardenolides are normally considered present in Asclepias species, these cardenolides have not been found in A. tuberosa. Instead some unique pregnane glycosides are found in A. tuberosa.
    (3) Warashina, Tsutomu; Noro, Tadataka (February 2010). "8,12;8,20-Diepoxy-8,14-secopregnane Glycosides from the Aerial Parts of Asclepias tuberosa". Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. Pharmaceutical Society of Japan. 58 (2): 172–179. doi:10.1248/cpb.58.172. PMID 20118575. Retrieved September 11, 2020.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit