The brilliant orange flowers of the Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberose) are a familiar sight along the country roadsides in the upland fields of Itawamba County during late June and July. It is an American native wildflower.
A member of the milkweed family and producing plenty of nectar, it is common to see many butterflies dancing in a cluster around this plant. Adult monarchs also lay their eggs on the leaves of the milkweeds.
The plant is most common around disturbed roadsides, embankments, bluffs and abandoned fields. When driving through Itawamba County, if you notice a bright orange flower around such places, more than likely it’s a butterfly weed.
Photograph by Bob Franks