unknown flower

Asked July 29, 2020, 2:04 PM EDT

These flowering plants grew among the zinnia that I grew from last year's seeds. They're very pretty and I may want to save some seed for next year. Can you tell me what they are and whether they are pollinator-friendly?

Washington County Maryland

1 Response

Hi - This is tropical milkweed (Asclepias curassavica). Here is a fact sheet from the University of Florida Extension with information about this species.
https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/media/sfylifasufledu/baker/docs/pdf/horticulture/demonstration-gardens/Tropical-Milkweed.pdf

Tropical milkweed is attractive to butterflies, bees, and other insects. If you are interested in growing milkweeds to support Monarch butterflies, however, the native milkweeds are recommended over this non-native species. This article explains why. https://xerces.org/blog/tropical-milkweed-a-no-grow

Our native butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a nice alternative.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/butterfly-weed-milkweed

Christa