This species of perennial milkweed offers food for Monarch Butterfly caterpillars, and its flowers provide nectar to Monarchs and a host of other butterflies and insects. Its flowers and leaf structure are more delicate than other species of milkweed, making it especially attractive to smaller butterflies and bees.
Native to the western United States and Baja California, this is a great plant to establish in your butterfly garden or plantings. Seed is wild collected fresh each year in Umatilla County, Oregon, where rainfall is only 11-12 inches per year. Once established, this beautiful plant will come back year after year.
What to expect with these seeds:
Germination: Place seeds between moist paper towels in a sealed container in the refrigerator for two weeks. Take out of the fridge and they should begin sprouting within a week. Another option is to sow 1/4 inch deep in prepared garden soil in late winter or early spring, as the cold days will cold stratify the seed appropriately. (Will seed germinate without the cold treatment? Yes. However, germination will be sporadic.)
Planting: Start seed in an area where it has about a two foot square to grow in. Make sure to water well the first year, while the plants are establishing their root systems.