University of Florida


Milkweed is a group of plants named for their milky sap. They're an important nectar source for bees and other insects, and serve as host plants for certain butterflies. Of the many milkweed species that grow in Florida, two are often used in butterfly gardens.

Butterfly weed is a perennial native that attracts queen and monarch butterflies for nectar and larval food. It has orange or yellow flowers that appear in late summer and early fall.

Scarlet or tropical milkweed has bunches of orange, yellow, and red tubular flowers. It's a larval food plant for the monarch, queen, and soldier butterflies, and a nectar plant for many others. It blooms during much of the year and reseeds freely. Both plants are sure to attract beautiful butterflies to your garden.


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