Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa). Herbaceous perennial. Monarch butterfly food plant.
Showy milkweed is bolder and more structural in the garden than its narrow-leafed cousin. It also benefits from fall planting, and might perhaps like a bit more water than narrowleaf milkweed.
These photos were taken in April and May – the shots with the caterpillar and poppies were taken in May at Elderberry Farms, where the plants are more mature. They also have a better location for butterflies.
If everyone plants milkweed in their gardens, we can hopefully restore their population and once again enjoy a constant stream of monarchs floating above our gardens. Be patient; it takes a few years for the plants to get up to size, and at least that long for the butterflies to find them.