Prairie Gold Butterfly Weed - Exclusively From High Country Gardens
By David Salman, High Country Gardens Founder and Chief Horticulturist
The genus Asclepias, commonly called Milkweed or Butterfly Weed, is a fascinating group of wildflowers native to North America.
They have become increasingly popular in recent years because of their association with the endangered Monarch Butterfly. Some species of this genus are host plants for Monarch caterpillars, and most plants of the genus will attract adult butterflies to feed on their nectar.
Asclepias tuberosa, often called Butterfly Weed, is an eye-catching species with typically bright orange flowers, which may range from deep to medium orange hues. We're excited to introduce a new cultivar to expand on the color palette of these beautiful pollinator magnets.
Starting From Seed
Some years ago, a kind gentleman customer sent me seeds of a unique yellow-flowered Asclepias tuberosa. Apparently, he had found a colony of yellow-flowered plants in its Indiana habitat, in a natural area. Well, I was very excited to give it a try. After planting a handful of seeds and watching the plants grow in my test garden, they finally reached mature size and began blooming. The flower clusters were a gorgeous deep yellow with a blush of gold.
As I continued to grow this cultivar, the plants have proven to be uniformly colored and good growers in my crummy northern New Mexico loam. Over time, I have been able to collect a nice amount of seed each year, and now have enough to officially introduce the plant for sale. Now, for the Fall 2021 season, High Country Gardens is introducing a new Asclepias tuberosa cultivar, ‘Prairie Gold’ Butterfly Weed.
Growing Prairie Gold Butterfly Weed
- ‘Prairie Gold’ does well in most soils, except predominately clay mixtures and pure clay.
- It is a deeply tap-rooted plant and requires two or three growing seasons to reach maturity and begin blooming.
- Place them in full sun where the water doesn’t puddle after a rainstorm and the soil drains well.
- Leave standing over the winter and don’t cut off the large, ornamental seed pods which ripen their seeds in the fall.
- Where happy, Asclepias will re-seed itself and hopefully colonize your garden.
- For more information about growing Asclepias, see our guide and video: How To Grow Asclepias - Milkweed & Butterfly Weed
Companion Planting With Asclepias
Recommended companion plants for 'Prairie Gold' include other prairie dwellers like Bouteloua (Grama Grass), such as 'Blonde Ambition' or Sideoats Grama Grass; Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie Dropseed), Liatris (Blazing Star), Hymenoxys (Sundancer Daisy), and wildflower Penstemon (Beardtongue).
Below are some planting examples featuring Butterfly Weed and Swamp Milkweed.
Milkweed & Butterfly Weed For Your Garden
Butterfly Weed (A. tuberosa) and Swamp Milkweed (A. incarnata) are considered the best varieties for an ornamental garden. Showy Milkweed (A. speciosa) and Common Milkweed (A. syriaca) are easy to grow, spreading by underground roots, and are best for natural-style plantings and meadows where they can multiply freely.
Asclepias tuberosa ‚Prairie Gold‚ (Butterfly Weed) is a beautiful golden-yellow form of this popular native wildflower. This selection is grown from seed collected from a...Learn MorePrairie Gold Butterfly Weed Prairie Gold Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa 'Prairie Gold'$14.99Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
Our ‘Swamp Milkweed Collection’ is the perfect start to your butterfly garden, rain garden, stream bed, or anywhere you want to see beautiful flowers and pollinators in w...Learn MoreSwamp Milkweed Collection Swamp Milkweed Collection Asclepias incarnata Collection$36.99 Sale $35.14Sale Price I Save 5%Per Collection of 3
Asclepias incarnata ‚Soulmate‚ (Swamp Milkweed) lights up the mid-to-late summer garden with clusters of pink petals surrounding a white heart. This native star attracts ...Learn MoreSoulmate Swamp Milkweed Soulmate Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnata Soulmate$13.99 Sale $11.89Sale Price I Save 15%Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
Asclepias incarnata ‚Ice Ballet‚ (Swamp Milkweed) lights up the mid-summer garden with vanilla scented, pillowy clusters of snow-white flowers. Deep green foliage and whi...Learn MoreIce Ballet Swamp Milkweed Ice Ballet Swamp Milkweed Asclepias incarnata Ice Ballet$13.99 Sale $11.89Sale Price I Save 15%Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
Asclepias tuberosa ‚Hello Yellow‚ (Butterfly Weed) is a native, pollinator-friendly knock-out with cheerful butter-yellow flower clusters. Flowers will bloom in summer, a...Learn MoreHello Yellow Butterfly Weed Hello Yellow Butterfly Milkweed Asclepias tuberosa Hello Yellow$11.99 Sale $10.19Sale Price I Save 15%Per Plant - 2.5" Pot