is this darker color for A tuberosa unusual?

mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)June 12, 2011

I have one A tuberosa this spring that is so striking in color. Most of the ones I've seen are quite a pallid orange but this one is stunning. I so hope it sets some seed pods. I'm not having much luck with seed pods setting yet, as there are just not many flying insects around my yard this spring. I think all the storms ran them off or perhaps mama house wrens used them to feed their babies.

Anyway, just had to share these lovely blooms with you guys. You can see in right top corner a bright blanket flower, so you can compare to the vivid color of the butterfly weed. I would love to add a lot more of these plants to my garden. .. Mary

A tuberosa blooms

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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

That is a stunning color! I do hope you get some seeds. Thanks for sharing.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 3:25PM
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Beautiful! I think I would love some too :) Is it a particular variety? Did you grow it from seed?


    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 3:29PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Gorgeous color! I wish I could get A. tuberosa to grow here!


    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 3:36PM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

Thanks, Ladies, for your nice comments.

If I am so lucky as to get a seed pod(s), I will be happy to share seed with you if you'd like. The A variegata is just about done blooming, with no seed pod in sight so that is a no go this year. If I ever see a seed pod on that little guy, you'll hear me yelling all the way to Canada.

No, I didn't start this plant from seed. It is a plant I purchased from Seneca Hills Nursery, the nursery that closed due to family illness. It was my one and only order from them. I don't think it set a flower head last year but this year there are several on it.

The A tuberosa I started from seed is just getting ready to bloom it's head off but if the flowers are the same color as last year, it is a very pale color, not at all pretty. Last year was it's first year to bloom and the plant looked weak. This year the plant looks much stronger.

I have a Hello Yellow A tuberosa that I started from seed but it doesn't look like it's going to bloom this year, perhaps still too young? I've read that it is a longer bloomer than the orange so excited to see if this is so.

Sherry, I'm so sorry this plant won't do well in Mississippi. With your heat and humidity, I'd have guessed it would be one that would like your area. Maybe your soil is too rich or maybe too much rain. I purposely planted mine in poorer soil than I like for my beds and both are in a raised area so they get good drainage.

I am so happy to read the BF activity is picking up for everyone. Please keep us updated on what's happening in your gardens.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 4:33PM
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roper2008 (7b)(7b)

Very vibrant orange on that A tuberosa . Below is a picture of mine
grown from seed 5 years ago. Not as vibrant, but sill very beautiful.
I am starting a milkweed collection. I have some soulmate from seed
this year. Tried to germinate some ice ballet, even wintersowed then,
but no germination. Also have tropical (annual). Keep me in mind
for seeds if you get any pods next year and have enough to go

Is you A turberosa from seed the same color as mine?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 8:48PM
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Mary, Those are very pretty flowers! I have orange butterfly weed too but don't think they're quite that dark. I wouldn't describe the ones I have as being a "pallid" a matter of fact, I think they look quite brilliant when they're blooming, but it does make me wonder if yours are even darker. They seem to be in the picture. Mine isn't quite blooming yet or I'd show you a picture to get your opinion of the difference. Actually, I believe mine look very much like the ones in roper's picture. If you would happen to have enough seed to share, I'd also love to have some. Maybe you're wanting some types of seed and we can do a trade later on.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 9:02PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Mary, A. tuberosa doesn't grow anywhere here, at least I've never seen it growing roadside, and it's never been documented down here. It does, however, grow in north Mississippi. One year, when my youngest daughter lived in Memphis, I visited her when it was in bloom in north MS. The color of the blooms was such a vivid, neon orange, I pulled over my car to look at the plants - I saw that it was the butterfly weed that I'd never been able to grow! My plants die quickly after I put them in the ground.
However, I've never tried to grow any since I've been gardening in raised beds, so it's possible that the drainage would be good enough there that it would work - some day I may try it again.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 9:54PM
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Hi Mary,

I Would love to have a few seeds if you end up with extras!



    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 2:32PM
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Tony G(5a)

Hi everyone,

just a reminder to those who want seeds that this species takes a couple years to grow to maturity and flower. I planted seeds last spring and the plants stayed small. This year I thought they would mature and flower. NOPE! They aren't doing anything this year either, though they are a little bigger. I'd go with plants if you're anxious to see those pretty orange blooms...

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 2:56PM
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roper2008 (7b)(7b)

Yes, if your a gardener you have to have patience. My picture above
is a 5 or 6 year old milkweed. First year I had no flowers. Second
year I had some flowers, third year a lot of flowers, and it seems
to bloom longer now too.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 4:01PM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)


No, I'd have to say my tiny blooms were a paler, more washed out color on my other butterfly weed plant. Last year was the first full growing season as I'd germinated it the previous year and the plant was weak looking all summer. Of course, we had a terribly hot summer, which didn't help any of the plants. This year it is a nice, strong looking plant with a deeper green color and I'm hoping the blooms will be closer to the color you have. I think your plant is more typical of the species. I can only hope my plants turn out as pretty as yours. I noticed this morning one flower head is swelling so it won't be long before it opens and I can see what color they'll be this year. I'll take a photo when the buds open so we can compare.

As to any seed pods from the brighter orange Butterfly Weed. I'll let everyone know if I get a seed pod. Even one pod would provide enough seed to share and it would be my pleasure to share with everyone.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 5:31PM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

As promised, here is a photo of my second year A tuberosa, begun by seed. This is the plant that had one tiny flower head last year and it was a sickly color. I believe the flowers are darker than they were last year but I don't think they're as dark as the ones in roper2008's photo.

There are quite a few flower heads on this plant this year, which really surprises me. I haven't yet seen a seed pod forming on the dark A tuberosa but the flower heads are really lasting so it might be too early to see the beginnings of a pod.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 6:31PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Hi Mary, you really can see a vivid difference in the 2 plants. Perhaps the people at Seneca selected an outstanding specimen and and your plant was propogated asexually? I've heard there is red A. tuberosa out there, and yours borders on red end of orange.

I've purchased 'Gay butterflies' and 'Hello yellow' and also started it from seed. My seed plants are a light orange like your 2nd plant. The cultivars have sown a few seedlings, and one of them bloomed a little last year and appeared to be a yellow color. We'll see though, some of my A. tuberosa is doing great and some is very slow (I did transplant some around this Spring, that really sets it back.)

Most of the perennial milkweeds I've grown from seed are verrrrry slow growing. I've had Monarchs use the 1st year plants from A. tuberosa nevertheless.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 8:02PM
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I purchased a. tuberosa 'Gay Butterflies' seeds also. The photo on the packet shows orange and red flowers but I've seen several comments from people saying they didn't get any red flowers from their seeds. It must be possible though.
At Lowe's last summer they had a table of a. tuberosa and I snatched up the darkest one, a beautiful red orange, but it died after I planted it. : ( It looked like it rotted at the base.
This year I'm starting them from 'Gay Butterflies' seeds but the first seedlings I planted got eaten by slugs I think. I still have about four left to plant. I doubt I will get any red ones but I wanted to try.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 9:47AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

High Country Gardens has a red selection (or did). I know that the only truly red ones I have seen grow on the Tall Grass Prairie near Pawhuska, OK. These are so red that you wonder if they are really tuberosa. Yesterday, they had the annual BF count. I didn't go--bad knee. They saw 18 Regal Fritillaries.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 10:43AM
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