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collage of Butterfly Milkweed and Tropical Milkweed

Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) vs. Tropical Milkweed (Asclepias curassavica)

Updated October 5th, 2021

These two plants are sometimes confused due to the similar color of their flowers and similar seedpod shape. They are easily distinguished by a close look at the flowers, leaves, or seedpod texture. Tropical milkweed is widely planted in gardens, but in the wild it is restricted to the southernmost parts of North America. Outside of gardens, butterfly weed occurs in dry habitats whereas tropical milkweed is more likely in wetter habitats.

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