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Fun Fact Friday July 21, 2023

After a crazy week, we almost missed Fun Fact Friday! This week's Fun Fact is about Asclepias tuberosa commonly called Butterflyweed or Butterfly Milkweed. This Florida native milkweed is lesser known to most butterfly gardeners because it is not as available in nurseries. However, that is not the fun fact.


The fun fact is here: There are two subspecies of Asclepias tuberosa in Florida.


A. tuberosa ssp. rolfsii is less bushy, and the leaves have wavy margins. This subspecies occurs throughout the entire state.


A. tuberosa ssp. tuberosa has smaller, flatter, narrower leaves. This subspecies has a native range throughout northern Florida.


So, not all Butterflyweed is the same! Below you will see a picture of both subspecies I obtained from the same nursery. It shows the difference in leaves. The most prominent plant in the picture is A. tuberosa ssp. rolfsii and the plant towards the bottom of the picture is A. tuberosa ssp. tuberosa.

With this in mind, The Serene Forest is going to see which one does best in our Central Florida garden. I expect it to be A. tuberosa ssp. rolfsii but it will be fun to find out!!!

When buying this variety of milkweed, please choose trusted Florida native nurseries. Asclepias tuberosa is native to many states in the U.S. and so large nurseries and box stores like Home Depot will sell this plant. BUT, they are most likely not selling the Florida subspecies which means they will not thrive in your garden AND.... will not likely come back the next year.

This native milkweed can be confused with the invasive Tropical Milkweed. If you would like help in identifying this native milkweed vs the invasive and non-native Tropical Milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, check out our Gardening Forum by CLICKING HERE


One last thing. If you are interested in adding this milkweed to your garden we typically carry it in our online store. You can find out online plant store using the menu at the top of the page or by CLICKING HERE


See you .......................

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