This bright orange milkweed is a favorite nectar plant for butterflies, and the leaves are eaten by the caterpillars of monarch butterflies. One of our showiest native wildflowers, butterfly weed is also a favorite of gardeners.
Butterfly weed, striking for its pure orange color, occurs in upland fields, prairies, glades, roadsides, wasteland, dry and rocky woods, and edges of woods, often on disturbed soil. It is also a favorite native plant for gardening.
In case the name doesn’t make it clear, this milkweed is a favorite nectar plant for butterflies, and the leaves are eaten by the caterpillars of monarch butterflies. One of our showiest native wildflowers, butterfly weed is also a favorite of gardeners.
The flowers of butterfly weed are massively displayed in terminal umbels (umbrella-like clusters with stalks all arising from the tip of the stem). They can be many shades of orange to brick-red, and occasionally yellow. A close look at the individual flowers shows they have the same unique structure as other milkweeds.
Canada thistle is a native to Eurasia and arrived on our continent probably before the Revolutionary War—most likely mixed in agricultural seed. A bad weed of crop fields and rangeland farther north, it causes problems in Missouri, too.
Compass plant is a tall, showy, yellow rosinweed with hairy stems. Its flower heads arise from a tall stalk and are about 2½ inches across. Both the petal-like ray flowers and the central disk flowers are yellow. It’s found in prairies, fields, glades, and roadsides.
The leaves of compass plant are hairy and deeply cleft almost to the midrib, the lobes sometimes having secondary divisions. In full sun, the upright lower leaves turn their edges toward north and south, with the flat surfaces facing east and west, giving compass plant its common name.
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