Is a butterfly bush the same thing as a butterfly weed??Both attract their insect namesakes, but they are different plants.
Other common names for butterfly weed are butterfly milkweed and orange milkweed.
When in doubt, there's always the scientific name. In this case, it's Asclepias tuberosa.
Unlike true milkweed, the stem of butterfly weed does not contain a milky sap.
Butterfly weed is native to the U.S. It grows up to 2 feet tall and sports large clusters of bright orange - or sometimes yellow or red - flowers.
It blooms from spring into the summer and, in some areas, through September.
The weed's leaves are long, pointed and smooth-edged.
Like many wild flowers, butterfly weed once was used for medicinal purposes. The American Indians chewed the root to help combat pleurisy, an inflammation of the lining of the lungs and chest.
That use gave the plant another common name - pleurisy root.
But medical experts now warn that the weed's roots and sap are poisonous if consumed in large quantities.
Gardeners can grow butterfly weed from seeds or cuttings. However, it may take two or three years for a new plant to bloom.
Though their names may be similar, the butterfly bush and the butterfly weed really are not.
The bush plant is a shrub with long, arching branches. It originates in Asia and Central America.
It can grow up to 10 feet tall and even that wide. Flower colors include blue, pink, red, violet, yellow and white.
"Nice column! I don't normally read the Sunday paper, but when I saw the flower, I knew right away what it was - one of my favorites, Asclepias tuberosa, a species of milkweed native to eastern North America. I have them growing in my back yard. Mine are yellow and the fire orange colors."