Butterfly Gardens to Go 2017 Plants List is now available. Orders will begin to ship in early May*.
Butterflies are valuable contributors to our environment, yet each year more than two million acres of habitat are being lost, resulting in diminished butterfly populations.
Our collection includes an excellent selection of native Milkweed plants for a variety of growing conditions and native habitat throughout the United States.
The nectar sources we have selected are proven butterfly favorites in our own gardens and the flight houses where we rear our butterflies.
We are pleased to offer a collection of ‘Petite Perennials’ that are perfect for small garden spaces or gardens that are already established and just need a touch of color or a fun new plant!
We can all make a difference by planting butterfly gardens with host and nectar plants and help support the diminishing populations of indigenous butterflies.
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Asclepias purpurascens – Purple Milkweed
Asclepias purpurascens – Purple Milkweed is a Michigan native milkweed and is native to most of the eastern United States though it is uncommon to rare in cultivated gardens. Similar to Ascelpeias syriaca (Common Milkweed) it is an excellent garden choice due to its non-invasive nature. It has a long bloom season and the fragrant, intense rosy pink flowers attract numerous insects and butterflies. Purple Milkweed is very tolerant of a wide variety of soils and light levels making it easy to grow. It will tolerate shade, but blooms better in the sun. It commonly occurs in dry to moist open woods, dry ridge tops, thickets, glades, prairie openings, stream banks and wet meadows.
Available late May 2017
Asclepias incarnata – ‘Ice Ballet’ Milkweed
‘Ice Ballet’ is an elegant, long-blooming, bright white cultivar of native Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed) and features a compact habit and dark green foliage. Swamp milkweed occurs throughout most of the United States. It is a tall plant found in moist habitats such as wet meadows, floodplains, riverbanks, pond shores, stream banks, wet woods, swamps, and marshes, although it will also grow in drier areas such as prairies, fields, and roadsides. Asclepias incarnata needs full sun or partial shade to flourish. Flowers are very attractive to butterflies and bees as a nectar source. Swamp milkweed is also an important food source for the larval stage of Monarch butterflies. The plants are deer resistant and heat tolerant.
Available – May 2017
Asclepias syriaca – Common Milkweed
Asclepias syriaca Common Milkweed is the plant most people think of when they hear the word ‘milkweed’. This Michigan native occurs throughout most of the United States and thrives in almost any well drained soil and produces a profusion of fragrant mauve colored flowers in midsummer. The sweet scented flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators and beneficial insects. Of all the milkweeds this is the easiest and fastest to establish, yet it is known to be invasive and must be used with care. This milkweed grows best in full sun and average to well-drained soil with no irrigation and will tolerate extreme conditions.
Available May 2017
Viola walteri – ‘Silver Gem’ Violet
Viola walteri ‘Silver Gem’
Prostrate blue violet
Easily identified by trailing stems and delicate lavender flowers, ‘Silver Gem’ forms a dense, tidy mat of attractive silver foliage. Flowers appear in March and persist into autumn. Our plant trials have proven ‘Silver Gem’ to be exceptionally drought tolerant and happiest in part to full shade. Pot in quarts or gallons for early spring sales.
Prostrate blue violet Interesting Notes
Mt. Cuba Center is a non-profit organization committed to promoting and appreciation for plants native to the Piedmont, encouraging their use in gardens and supporting their conservation in nature. Tours, educational programs and plant introductions provide a means for future generations to gain an appreciation of the diversity and landscape potential of plants that comprise the Piedmont flora.
Viola walteri ‘Silver Gem’ Growing and Maintenance Tips
Very easy plant, performs wonderfully in gallons and quarts. Remove dead foliage/trailing stems as necessary.
Asclepias curassavica – ‘Monarch Promise’ Tropical Milkweed
Monarch Promise is a special Asclepias curassavica with beautiful green and white variegated foliage that is tinged with red, orange and pink leaf tips. The bright orange-red flower attracts Monarch butterflies and many other species of butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.
Monarch Promise is great to use in the landscape or in container gardens to bring life to your patio, not only for its amazing color but to attract butterflies. It is a tropical milkweed, so it grows best in warmer temperatures.
Rudbeckia subtomentosa Sweet Black-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia subtomentosa is tough, beautiful and it conquers clay soils! While other plants fold in the heat of summer, Sweet Black Eyed Susan retains its luxuriant deep green foliage and butter-yellow blooms with shimmering red-brown centers. Give it clay, or any reasonably rich soil and it will reward you with years of beautiful flowers!
Helenium flexuosum ‘Mardi Gras” Sneezeweed
Sneezeweed or Helen’s flower
Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’ produces a festival of multicolored blooms to jazz up the garden for six to eight weeks in mid to late summer. Yellow petals are lavishly edged with bright orange-red, aging to clear red edged in gold, all surrounding deep chestnut cones. Gorgeous in a pot! Great as a cut flower, its long stems are sturdy and vase life is long. Heleniums are naturally resistant, even toxic, to deer and rabbits. An early pinch back helps promote branching.
Sneezeweed Interesting Notes
Produces a riot of multicolored blooms for six to eight weeks in summer, from late June to early August. Yellow petals, lavishly splashed with orange red, form wildly patterned stiff skirts around deep brown, mounded center cones. The “tie-dyed” flowers are 1.5 to 2 inches (3-5 cm) in diameter. Forms upright clumps with sturdy stems that sway gracefully in summer breezes. A massed planting will form tight shrubby bushes of impressive size in two years. – Must Have Perennials™
Winner of the Calgary Horticultural Society’s 2012 Perennial Plant of the Year Award
Sneezeweed is a natural rabbit repellant.
Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’ Growing and Maintenance Tips
Good resistance to most insects and diseases. Will thrive in full sun and well-drained soil. While it’s happiest with frequent waterings, it does not require high fertility levels. Fertilize sparingly to reduce risk of weak stems. Plants may benefit from being cut back in early spring to encourage more branching and floriferous growth. Foliage should be cut back after flowering. May need staking.
Asclepias viridis – Spider Milkweed
Spider Milkweed is also commonly known as Green Antelopehorn Milkweed. In Texas, it is quite common and is considered an important food source for the Monarchs as they start their spring migration northward. Spider Milkweed has a native range of Texas north to Nebraska and eastward as far as West Virginia and South Carolina. It can be found along roadsides, ditches, prairies, open areas, and other areas with little vegetative competition. This species tends to be short (12 inches) with multiple stems emerging from the root crown of mature plants. Taller, more erect plants, usually with one or a few stems, can be found in moist prairies. Spider Milkweed features rose-white flowers surrounded by green that form in showy umbellated clusters, often one per plant.
Available – May 2017