Asclepias are a genus of herbaceous perennials that originate from North America and are tolerant of heat, drought and cold so perfect for growing here in mid France.
They have many common names including ‘milk weed’ because the stems produce latex and ‘butterfly weed’ because the flowers are nectar rich and loved by butterflies as they help to sustain them through the dry summer months. They also produce copious amounts of pollen and each flower has an unusual mechanism for attaching a pair of pollen sacks to the legs of visiting bees. The flowers are followed by interesting seed pods containing numerous seeds embedded in a silky lining.
At Le Jardin Créatif on our Petite Pépinière we have two varieties; Asclepias ‘Deep Silky Red’ with its bright red/orange flowers and Asclepias incarnata ‘Carmine Rose’ with deep dusky rose flowers that have a vanilla scent.