Pleurisy Root is botanically known as Asclepias tuberosa but is more commonly known as butterfly weed or butterfly milkweed. This flowering perennial has been recognized as the PPA Perennial Plant of the Year! The vivid bright orange flowers are a trademark of this plant, attracting butterflies in mass. The ever popular Monarch uses its leaves as a food source for its caterpillars and its nectar as a food source for mature adults. The value of plants that exclusively feed the Monarch Butterflies cannot be understated!
The 2" inch bright orange flower umbels are disk shaped and comprised of hundreds of micro florets in mass. Flowers bloom from the start of summer through early fall on well mounded 36" inch plants. In the fall, upright seed pods crack open, releasing seeds glistening with silky hairs. The dried pods make a wonderful everlasting ingredient for floral arrangements.
Pleurisy Root also has a history of medicinal uses. Native Americans turned the root material into a powder and used feathers to dust cuts or wounds with the powder which aided in healing. Roots of this native prairie plant were also used by American colonists to treat coughs. Medicinal uses today are not officially sanctioned by modern practitioners and this plant can be poisonous if large quantities are ingested, causing diarrhea and vomiting. Please seek advice before embarking on medicinal uses.
Best to plan in advance as the seed does require cold stratification to germinate properly. Hardy to zone 4, drought tolerant and resistant to rabbits and deer. An excellent choice for meadow lands, transitioning to native savannas or in a large swath in pollinator gardens. Packet: 50 seeds.