butterfly weed


Also called orange milkweed. a North American milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa, having clusters of bright orange flowers.
an erect North American plant, Gaura coccinea, of the evening primrose family, having wandlike spikes of white to pink flowers turning red with age.



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Origin of butterfly weed

An Americanism dating back to 1810–20
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for butterfly weed

  • The butterfly-weed, with its brilliant scarlet flowers, attracted flocks of butterflies and made fine masses of color.

  • A humming-bird is fanning the butterfly-weed, and he looks on with interest not unmixed with fear.

    Wild Life Near Home|Dallas Lore Sharp
  • Well, he always mowed that field himself, and when he came to a clump of butterfly-weed, he always mowed around it.

    The Jonathan Papers|Elisabeth Woodbridge Morris

British Dictionary definitions for butterfly weed

butterfly weed


a North American asclepiadaceous plant, Asclepias tuberosa (or A. decumbens), having flat-topped clusters of bright orange flowersAlso called: orange milkweed, pleurisy root
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012