I need suggestions on which milkweeds please

waterstarOctober 31, 2013

Thank you for setting up this forum!

I am in the process of setting up flower beds (hopefully not weed beds that my past attempts at wildflowers were....) and really want to have milkweed for the butterflies. I know NOTHING about milkweed. Could you please advise me of which kind(s) to get? I see different varieties you mention in the forum, but I am clueless. I am not new to gardening, just to wildflower gardening...

Thank you in advance!

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Ralph Whisnant(z7b-8 NC)

My favorite is Asclepias curassavica. Here in Raleigh it occasionally winters over but if not, new plants are easily raised from seed. The One reason that I like it is that it is still going strong in the fall when Monarch butterflies arrive. It also attracts lots of other bees and wasps throughout the season. If you are interested in seed, send me an email.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 11:42PM
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Awesome, THANKS. email on its way. ( :

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 7:28AM
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Tony G(5a)

Hi waterstar,

I currently set up a web page highlighting 14 milkweed varieties...under some of the varieties there are links to more detailed info about that specific species.

Hope this helps, Tony

Here is a link that might be useful: 14 milkweed species for your butterfly garden

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 7:24PM
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Nice site. Thanks for posting this link.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 7:30AM
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Great site, thanks! Slow to respond here as my computer is in the hospital and I'm on my hubby's computer. ( :

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 7:18AM
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Need2SeeGreen(10 (SoCal))

I have a bunch of A. curassavica seeds too, from "Silky Scarlet." It is a tropical milkweed.

The seeds are a couple years old b/c I took out the plants b/c they aren't the right kind for butterflies in my area, according to http://www.xerces.org/monarchs/ (Which I think focuses on California. Lots of info there, maybe almost too much.)

But these seeds were wildly fertile, so my guess is, they're still good.

I'd be happy to send them to anyone who's in the right area, for postage. (Do we need a bubble pack?)

And I don't know which areas that might be, maybe someone here does. Sounds like they are good back East.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 3:43PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Any who choose to grow the tropical milkweed (curassavica), please be aware that it may induce the Monarchs to continue to breed far too late into the season, when they should be migrating to overwintering territory before cold weather arrives. Also, since it is perennial and not deciduous, like our native milkweed species, it may be at greater risk of harboring OE spores that are deadly to Monarchs and are especially prevalent in the warmer southern breeding areas. Please trim back your tropical plants in fall to allow for a normal migration pattern and to remove any spores and allow fresh foliage to grow back. It may even be wise, from an infection standpoint, to trim back a few times each season. Research is ongoing.

Thanks for continuing all efforts to support Monarch survival.


    Bookmark   December 7, 2013 at 9:29AM
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I'll second what Martha said previously - according to many sources and studies, some of the tropical varieties of milkweed appear to encourage monarchs to hang around when they should be moving along to their over-wintering grounds in Mexico. Here are some varieties that I found on another site which are native to South Carolina (source is below):

Asclepias amplexicaulis
Asclepias cinerea
Asclepias connivens
Asclepias curassavica
Asclepias exaltata
Asclepias fascicularis
Asclepias humistrata
Asclepias incarnata
Asclepias lanceolata
Asclepias longifolia
Asclepias mexicana
Asclepias michauxii
Asclepias obovata
Asclepias pedicellata
Asclepias perennis
Asclepias physocarpa
Asclepias purpurascens
Asclepias quadrifolia
Asclepias rubra
Asclepias syriaca
Asclepias tomentosa
Asclepias tuberosa
Asclepias variegata
Asclepias verticillata
Asclepias viridiflora
Cynanchum leave

Source: http://monarchwatch.org/bring-back-the-monarchs/resources/milkweeds-by-state

I have A. curassavica seeds up for trade. It does appear that this one is native to three counties in SC though so if you're interested, shoot me an email. I was looking for A. incarnata (swamp milkweed) but also interested in heirlooms and other things.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 9:56AM
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