Butterfly Weed: A Gift of Nature!

A monarch caterpillar crawls along butterfly weed blossoms

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Spectacular! That word alone accurately describes the eye-catching beauty of Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), our only native milkweed with showy orange blossoms. But don’t let the words “butterfly” or “weed” fool you. Butterfly Weed is a non-discriminating, pollinator-friendly plant, a fact confirmed by its attractiveness to bumblebees and honey bees. Even Ruby-throated hummingbirds visit its nectar-rich blossoms. Just a weed? Certainly not!

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Roadside Wildflowers of July

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

They are wild and free. They choose where to grow. They need no care from us, just a bit of respect to survive. Some are native species, others invasive or naturalized, but the wildflowers of our July roadsides share common traits. They thrive in disturbed soils and open areas and add colorful beauty to the road’s edge. They are the vanguard forces of nature trying to make things right!

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Butterfly Weed: The brilliant orange blossom of Butterfly Weed is unmistakable for appreciative humans, and nectar sipping butterflies. It’s next to impossible to hike in an uncut meadow or prairie without encountering the most stunning member of the milkweed family. The meadows and roadside of Highland State Recreation Area, and the roadside edge of Independence Oaks County Park-North are just two locations where they are now at peak bloom.

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