August 1

Tuesday Treasure

The Neglected Beauty

Butterfly weed ( Asclepias tuberosa ) is one of the native species that Kerry has introduced to the Teaching Garden this year.  Among plant lovers, it is considered “the neglected beauty.”  A member of the milkweed family, its’ rich orange hues are as striking as any found among wildflowers.  Indigenous populations found that the plant has many medicinal properties. (Asclepias, the mythical son of Apollo, was known as the first great physician.)  Its root stock has been used to cure everything from common colds to rheumatism.  The Delawares called the plant by a name that meant “where butterflies light.”  The nectar rich flowers attract many colorful species including monarchs, swallowtails and fritillaries.”