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North American plant (Asclepias tuberosa) of the milkweed family (Apocynaceae), a stout, rough-haired perennial with long horizontal roots. The leafy, erect, somewhat branching stem is about 1–3 ft (0.3–0.9 m) tall. In midsummer it bears numerous clusters of bright orange flowers. Unlike most milkweeds, it has a scanty milky juice. It is native to dry fields and is often planted in wild gardens or grown as a border plant.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on butterfly weed, visit Britannica.com.