Looking for a pollinator magnet? Praire Milkweed (Asclepias sullivantii) attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees to the garden with sweet, fragrant blooms. Small clusters of pink flowers bloom in the summer, providing nectar to local pollinators. It may have smaller flowers than other milkweeds, but it has the best foliage of them all. Smooth, almost succulent-like leaves look appealing all season long and serve as a food source for caterpillars.
Milkweeds, including Prairie Milkweed, are essential for the Monarch lifecycle. Their relationship includes more than just swapping nectar for pollination. Caterpillars exclusively feed on their leaves, which are filled with cardenolides. Cardenolides are stored in the bodies of Monarch caterpillars and butterflies as a defense against predators. Without Milkweed, we wouldn't have Monarchs!
Plant size: 2-3' tall x 1.5' wide
Light: full sun (6+ hrs/day)
Hardiness: USDA zone 4-8 (Find your hardiness zone)
Pollinator value: attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and is the host plant for Monarchs
Notable features: fragrant, great cut flowers, long-blooming, deer resistant, multiple seasons of interest, low maintenance
Pot size: one quart
Plant name: Asclepias sullivantii