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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Butterfly Weed Orange

Butterfly weed full bloom

This flower is a member of the milkweed family. The scientific name is Asclepias tuberosa. (See here for more scientific information)

The linked page says that the root is tough, and was used as a cure for pleurisy by Native Americans. I can attest to the toughness. This beautiful orange perennial grows wild here, and is a common sight along roadways. Several years ago, my wife sent me off on an expedition to dig a few up and transplant them to her flower garden. I dug up 5 or 6, from several locations within a few miles. I don't think I ever got the entire root. That didn't stop the plants from surviving, and I'm guessing that the parts of the roots I left behind also grew and prospered.

A local name is chiggerbush, based on the notion that you can get chiggers from getting near this plant. Maybe. They certainly provide a splash of fairly long-lasting orange color.

If you want a higher-resolution picture, you can get it by clicking on the picture, then finding the different sizes link, at the right, in the source page. (Free Flickr membership may be required.)

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