12 Pretty Pictures of Milkweed Flowers in Bloom

Milkweed is a beautiful plant—both for helping butterflies and for the gorgeous flowers it grows. Find awe in milkweed's lovely blooms.

Bnbbyc16 Kathleen Oto 001
Courtesy Kathleen Oto

Fritillary on Milkweed Flowers

“I took this photo of a regal fritillary butterfly on a milkweed plant in the Kansas Flints Hills. Regal fritillary butterflies are only found in the tall-grass prairie and may be observed in June and July getting nectar at flowers. Many other butterfly species are found here, as well,” says Kathleen Oto.

Uncover myths and facts about butterfly host plants.

308778113 1 Susan Marsh Bnb Pc 2022
Courtesy Susan Marsh

A Butterfly Conversation

I took this photo while waiting outside to eat. The restaurant sits beside a small airport with an area of tall grasses, and these white swamp milkweeds sit along one of the runways. There were lots of butterflies all over them, but these ones caught my eye. It was as if they were having a butterfly conversation,” says Susan Marsh.

Discover fascinating milkweed facts you should know.

252456173 1 Pamela Alvord Bnb Bypc2020, milkweed flowers
Courtesy Pamela Alvord

The Beauty of Milkweed Flowers

“I have had a pollinator garden filled with birds, bees and butterflies for many years, but I formally applied for my Monarch Waystation certification a few years ago. I have expanded my garden to include more milkweed as well as favorite pollinator plants and flowers. We have been rewarded with an abundant amount of birds, insects as well as wildlife. I started taking photos of my garden a few years ago and I am now never without my camera!”

Should you add common milkweed to your garden? Learn the pros and cons before you plant it!

306436247 1 Robert Peyre Ferry Bnb Pc 2022
Courtesy Robert Peyre Ferry

Nature at Its Finest

“I photographed this monarch butterfly on a flowering milkweed plant on the Delaware River. Nature at her finest!” says Robert Peyre Ferry.

Should gardeners remove milkweed bugs?

250249697 1 Joni Cook Bnb Bypc2020, milkweed flowers
Courtesy Joni Cook

The Value of Milkweed

“During the summers, the milkweed plant is a very important monarch butterfly host plant. My husband and I have a certified monarch Way Station in which the tagged monarchs from the previous summers come back to our yard and lay their eggs. Once the eggs turn to larva, we bring them indoors until they’re in a pupa stage. When they emerge, we tag them and set them free. It’s a cycle I love so much that we share extra milkweed with neighbors and friends, so they might experience the same,” says Joni Cook.

These 11 facts about monarch butterflies will make you even more fascinated with them.

249848702 1 Lynn Johnson Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Lynn Johnson

Milkweed Beauty Brings Joy

“Yes, this is a weed—a milkweed. I grow it in my flowerbed to attract monarch butterflies. The blooms are both beautiful and fragrant, and they’re essential to the survival of the monarch butterflies. The bright green leaves gracefully frame the lavender blooms. It serves as a reminder that there is beauty all around us,” says Lynn Johnson.

Is milkweed poisonous to people and pets?

Bnbbyc17 Holly Harnly, milkweed flowers
Courtesy Holly Harnly

Butterfly Weed and a Swallowtail

“I think that swallowtails and butterfly weed bring out the best colors of summer. For photography, it is a challenge to bring into focus both the intricate design of the butterfly weed and getting the swallowtail in focus with it. The background of the butterfly weed and daisies make this shot extra special,” says Holly Harnly.

Is honeyvine milkweed an invasive plant?

Bnbbyc19 Cheryl Fleishman 2 (1)
Courtesy Cheryl Fleishman

Swamp Milkweed Flowers and Pollinators

Swamp milkweed is an important food for monarchs and other pollinators. It blooms in stages, as the bumblebee demonstrates. This beautiful perennial plant is in its second year and had a profusion of milkweed flowers,” says Cheryl Fleishman.

Looking for another type of milkweed to grow? Try poke milkweed.

276608756 1 Larry Weast Bnb Bypc 2021, milkweed flowers
Courtesy Larry Weast

Not Just Monarchs on Milkweed Flowers

“The bloom in this picture is a common milkweed. The three insects are a bumblebee, soldier beetle, and a Japanese beetle. I thought this was unique because most people associate the monarch butterfly with milkweed. I chose this picture to illustrate that there are many other insects that take advantage of the milkweed as well as many other flowers, and I would encourage people to plant native grasses and wildflowers. If you help the little guys, all animals up the food chain will benefit,” says Larry Weast.

Grow showy milkweed in arid conditions.

252734904 1 Robert Wrench Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Robert Wrench

Swallowtail on Butterfly Weed

“An eastern tiger swallowtail alights upon the aptly named butterfly weed. This picture was taken at Millenium Park in Grand Rapids, close to the Fourth of July, on a beautiful summer day,” says Robert Wrench.

Is tropical milkweed bad for monarchs?

254056000 1 Christine Mccluskey Bypc2020
Courtesy Christine Mccluskey

Bees on Swamp Milkweed Flowers

“I love the delicate flowers of the swamp milkweed, and apparently the bees do too! This photo was taken in late July, but this plant continues to make an impact as late August has brought the return of monarch butterflies who have begun laying their eggs on them. I love watch the whole cycle unfold in my garden!” says Christine Mccluskey.

Struggling with aphids on your milkweed plants? Learn how to eliminate them.

309649891 1 Amy Delong Bnb Pc 2022
Courtesy Amy DeLong

Great Spangled Fritillary on Butterfly Weed

“While visiting the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, we came upon an area filled with bright orange butterfly weed. The flowers were covered with hundreds of the equally bright orange great spangled fritillary. The garden was alive with the gentle beating of wings. Sometimes it was difficult to discern flower from butterfly. I focused my camera on this little one whose face, at this angle, reminds me of a barn owl,” says Amy DeLong.

When you’re done looking at pictures of milkweed, enjoy 20 must-see pictures of monarch butterflies.

Emily Hannemann
Emily Hannemann is an associate editor for Birds & Blooms Digital. Throughout her years with the publication, she has written multiple articles for print as well as digital, all covering birding and gardening. In her role as associate editor, she is responsible for creating and editing articles on the subject of birding and gardening, as well as putting together Birds & Bloom's daily digital newsletter. After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a master's degree in magazine journalism and undergraduate degrees in journalism and English, she has more than eight years of experience in the magazine, newspaper, and book industries.